May 18, 2020
Keeping Kids Safe Online
In March, the FBI issued a warning to parents, educators, caregivers, and children about the dangers of online sexual exploitation and signs of child abuse due to increased time online due to Covid-19 stay at home orders.

With school ending and summer programs cancelled in many parts of Missouri, children will continue to spend many hours a day online.

This week we will shine a light on steps parents and caregivers can take to keep the children safe online.
Digital Citizenship Education is the Key to Online Child Safety
STOP.THINK.CONNECT ' s "Tech Talk" tip sheet encourages caregivers to rethink the rules:

  • Make rules that can be enforced,
  • Have a core set of rules the whole family follows, and
  • Make rules together with your children and change the over time.

To download the full "Tech Talk Tip Sheet" click HERE . 
Making Digital Citizenship Fun and Engaging for Younger Children
Adults teach younger children safety rules like, look both ways before you cross the street. We must adapt and teach digital safety rules too.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited created   NetSmartz Workshop to provide an age appropriate interactive educational program to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline. It is geared towards elementary school aged children.

There is so much information out there about online safety.

 Where should I start?
The Monique Burr Foundation has assembled evidence based resources for children, parents and caregivers on the following:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Digital abuse and other digital dangers
  • Digital citizenship
  • Sexual exploitation/Sex trafficking
Keeping Communication Open with Teens is Crucial
Digital citizenship for children means having open and ongoing conversations. This can become more challenging during the teen years.

Use this script to kick off a conversation with your teen.

Additional Resources about Digital Safety and Citizenship
  Raising Digital Citizens from the National Cyber Security Alliance
Digital Safety Tips from Darkness to Light
National PTA Connected strives to help children act safely, responsibly and thoughtfully online.
Great Internet Safety Resources from Connect
Internet Safety from Common Sense Media

Take these important steps this week to be #Essential4Kids:

  • Follow Missouri KidsFirst on Facebook, and Twitter to get up to date resources and learn more about taking steps each day during this difficult time to protect the children in your life.

Thank you for being #Essential4Kids!

To learn more, visit: and follow Missouri KidsFirs t on Facebook and Twitter .