Children always use computers for entertainment purposes, which include social interaction, playing computer games, getting useful information from the websites and watching videos. Allowing children to access computers without supervision is risky and can expose them to other dangers. After understanding all these risks and harm, it is advisable to take necessary steps that safeguard your child’s computer use at home.
If you fail to supervise your child’s use of computers, there is a likelihood of them sharing private details with unauthorized strangers. The greatest danger posed could be sharing personal identification information that could easily reveal the child’s location to perverts and child molesters. Such vital information could pave way for criminals to hurt your child through abduction or assault. There is a high possibility of the minors exposing vital information related to your financial records online or even worse your credit card number.
Your child can easily access the inappropriate content that is easily available on the internet if you fail to supervise them. There are sites with adult content that can easily spoil the morals of your child if given unsupervised exposure. Such information could be pornography or violent and abusive in nature. Through internet searches, your child may also gain information on activities that are harmful and illegal.
Exposure to Online Harassment
There is a possibility of your child being bullied and harassed online through avenues such as social media websites, internet chat rooms, and via emails and text messages. Lack of supervision can transform your child into a bully who could harass and humiliate other children on the net. Your child could also become a victim of cyber bullying from other internet users who could send them abusive messages via the computer.
Excessive use of computers by children can lead to serious vision problems such as computer vision syndrome. Continuous focusing on a computer can lead to the straining of the eyes and a condition known as nearsightedness. If children are left to use computers without supervision, it is likely that they will not observe proper sitting posture which requires them to sit with aligned head, straight back, relaxed arms and with feet resting on a foot stool. Healthy use of computers stresses on taking frequent taking frequent breaks of about 20 minutes to refocus your eyes. Parental supervision is necessary to enforce all these healthy stipulations.
Position your computer in an area that you can easily access and monitor your child’s activities. Engage your child in conversations and healthy interactions during the time when they are busy on their computers. Have a one on one discussion with your child to know what they do on the computer and advise them accordingly. You should also ensure that they observe healthy body and sitting postures to reduce the effects of eye strains and back aches. Regulate your child’s computer use and other activities done on the computer.
- City of Elmhurst, Illinois: Internet Safety
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: Children’s Safety on the Internet
- PBS Parents: Protecting Kids from Cyberbullying
- All About Vision: Kids, Computers and Computer Vision
- Mass.gov: Monitoring Internet Use
- San Diego County District Attorney: Protecting Children Online
- Washington State Office of the Attorney General: Internet Safety: Teens
- Washington State Office of the Attorney General: Internet Safety: Families and Educators
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Teen Safety in Cyberspace
- Federal Bureau of Investigation: Social Networking Sites
- Kids Health: Cyberbullying
- U.S. Federal Trade Commission: Kids and Computer Security
- American Academy of Pediatrics News: Internet Addiction a Real Problem for U.S. Kids