Posted: Friday 29th March 2019
We asked the mums in the PCC’s office to share the worries and concerns that they have about the challenges children and young people are facing. We’ve provided some useful tips, links and resources to help keep kids safe.
- As a mum, I’m worried about…'anti-social' media (which I now call it!). I’ve seen the effect social media is having on my 15-year-old daughter as it has replaced actually going out socialising face-to-face with her friends. Even though I am trusting her to be sensible and report anything bad that she might see online, the whole online safety aspect is a minefield for parents. You cannot be aware of everything young people are clicking and liking every minute of the day.
In the age of smartphones and tablets – effectively mini-computers – it’s a real challenge to educate children on the risks of the internet as well as monitor their online behaviour. For more information about online risks and how to keep kids safe, visit: https://www.getsafeonline.org/safeguarding-children/
- As a mum, I’m worried about…sexting. There seems to be more and more stories in the media about young people sharing images with each other. It’s an awkward conversation to have but I do want to make sure they know the risks of sexting and how to stay safe.
Sexting can seem harmless but creating or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal, even if the person doing it is a child. There is also no control of how that image is shared; when images are stored and shared online they become public, leaving young people vulnerable to blackmail, bullying and emotional distress. To find out more information about sexting and how to speak to young people visit: https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-advice/keeping-yourself-safe-online/sexting/
- As a mum, I’m worried about…knife crime. Young people are carrying knives to keep themselves safe, which actually puts them more at risk of being involved in a violent situation.
When a young person carries a knife, they are risking everything: prison, being a victim and even ending up in hospital. Knife crime also has a devastating impact on family and friends. A knife can escalate things way out of a young person’s control and make a bad situation worse. For information on how to keep children #knifefree visit: https://www.knifefree.co.uk/
- As a mum, I’m worried about…drugs. There’s so much peer pressure to take substances to appear ‘cool’ and some young people do not even know what they are putting into their body when they say yes.
It’s difficult to stop children from coming into some contact with drugs, but by ensuring they are as informed as possible we can help them to make the right choices when they do. If you’re worried your child is using drugs, the best thing to do is sit down and have a calm and honest conversation with them. For advice on how to speak to young people about drugs visit: https://www.talktofrank.com/