The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is encouraging parents to prioritise the safety of their children, especially with the resumption of face-to-face classes.
For parents whose children are going out to school for the first time, Director of Communications at the CAC, Latoya Halstead, explained the importance of parents playing their part in helping to keep their children safe.
“Do not write your children’s names on the outside of their personal items. Instead, we encourage you to teach them their names, address, your names and ensure that there is a contact number that they can call,” she said.
Halstead was addressing a Jamaica Information Service ‘Think Tank’, in Kingston, on September 13.
She said that as the rainy season is upon us, “if you know that your community floods when it rains, speak to your children about where they can go, what they can do, who they can speak with, and where they can seek help as soon as there’s an issue.”
“Please do not leave your children up to their own devices. You are the wiser ones, and you are there to guide them,” she said.
As such, “we are encouraging you to have a plan and to ensure that your children know what this plan is, because we really and truly do not want to see our children suffering,” said the Director of Communications.
She pointed out that for the past two years many students have not been out in the school space and so it is difficult for them to re-acclimatise to the social environment.
“When we are talking about re-acclimatising, we are also talking about the fact that many children have been doing a lot of gaming. So, in terms of trying to get their heads back into the books and back into the school space, we are encouraging our parents, once your child has a smart device, please put an app on that device to monitor their activities,” Ms. Halstead said.
To monitor a child’s activities, parents may utilise parental control apps and test apps and play games before their child use them. Parents may also set up shared Google or Yahoo accounts which will forward all emails to a parent to monitor contacts and communications.
Ms. Halstead advised that in addition to monitoring children’s activities, parents should set limits for their children’s internet time.
“I’m encouraging you to find a way of cutting off the Wi-Fi, because if they don’t have it, they have no choice but to be off that device. Have somebody teach you how to shut off your modem at a particular time. That way you are better able to help your child to be the best that they can be,” she said.