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Child abuse prevention extends online

By LEE ANN MARTIN, family services manager

Pulaski County Social Services

We live in a digital world that is connected, always on and full of content that may not be suitable for children. As a parent, it may be difficult to keep up with the latest apps and popular digital hangouts. It is difficult to keep pace, but you can teach your child online safety by ignoring or blocking strangers. Encourage them to report inappropriate posts, pictures or videos. A recent study shows that the average 8-10 year old spends nearly eight hours a day with different media while older children and teens spend more than 11 hours daily. About 75 percent of 12 to 17 year olds own cell phones and nearly all teens use text messaging. Excessive usage of electronic devices has been linked to school problems, aggression, weight gain and other issues. Bullying in cyberspace is another social and health concern. Help your child take a healthy approach to texting, internet and social media use to see what they are watching, reading, writing, sharing and doing.

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