As the heat of summer keeps us indoors, we are reminded once again how important it is for us to talk with our children about appropriate use of technology.

June was Internet Safety Month. Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana and the Verizon Foundation are pleased to provide these suggestions to help ensure that children develop safe and smart practices when using technology.

• Establish clear rules as to what information they should not give out, how long they can spend on the computer, who they can and cannot chat with etc.

• Install security software.

• Keep control of screen names and passwords.

• Keep computers in a room where they can be monitored.

• Select child-friendly search engines.

• Be familiar with what they are doing and who they are interacting with.

• Have open communication with your children.

• Report suspicious and inappropriate contact.

• Keep on learning about the latest technology.

Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana offers Internet Safety workshops for parents and children. To get involved, call our KIDLINE at (800) CHILDREN (244-5373). For more information on Internet Safety, please visit http://www.pcal.org.

Amanda Brunson

program director

Baton Rouge