Category Archives: safety

Connected in a cocoon

Research says that parents are comfortable with kids having a connected toy or device, but only if it’s safe.

Security and data privacy continue to concern parents of digikids. Worries about online hackers or criminals locating a child through GPS tracking decreases if the “connected cocoon” around kids insures their safety.

A timely thought as schools close and screens open for the summer.

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VR struggles

Although there’s a lot of chatter about VR (virtual reality) data show that children aren’t frequent users.

Concerns about exposure to inappropriate content via VR is a major issue for parents. In addition, health concerns, lack of knowledge and cost are contributing to the slower than expected consumer acceptance.

Summer reading lists: a new reality

After horrific school shootings and incidents of violence during this past school year, elementary and junior high summer reading lists include at least title with a theme of survival.

Some books are set in catastrophic events that really happened; others are fiction, but most showcase personal resilience and strength.

Middle graders are especially attracted to these adventures. Whether tied to a specific historical event, the environment, a character or person, stories on lists this summer might have a new reflection of realism. What a sad commentary on the times in which we live.

The appy world of kids

As apps devour phone space, the use of apps for children is increasingly being addressed by tech educators.

Actually, the whole topic of media engagement among kids is going far beyond screen time, dealing with topics that include virtual reality games, interactive robots and artificial intelligence. Privacy continues to be a theme throughout realtime conversations on the ground between parents and kids and among researchers.

Educators continue to look for ways that developmentally appropriate apps can bring together children, their peers and their families. We’re on the front edge of a new wave of app engagement.

Safety first

Hearing the whistle from a school crossing guard is a sure sign school is back in session.

But the shrill sound of a whistle, shiny badges or neon tape strips on uniforms hasn’t been enough to protect ever-faithful guards from the danger of distracted drivers.

That’s the reason those helping your child cross the street might be wearing the latest protective gear: vests that light up. The vests, which can be controlled by a push button, flash running red lights to increase visibility.

Lead transparency?

Lead contamination in school drinking water continues to cause headaches for administrators this summer.

Although an increasing number of districts have done lead testing and starting remediation, some parents still aren’t been notified about progress in dealing with the problem.

In some schools, lack of routine testing means lead in water often isn’t discovered, or only discovered by chance.

Where’s the transparency?

Mall brawls

Social media has been blamed for triggering teen disturbances at malls.

As a result, an increasing number of shopping centers are banning unaccompanied minors on weekend nights. Although some mall officials add curfews only on holiday weekends, restrictions are becoming more widespread.