For kids who want to bring music to the beach,
Amphibx offers a waterproof armband for the iPod nano
($49.99), or consider a portable waterproof speaker like the one
Digital Eco Extreme ($39.99).
Reading an e-book on the beach? Try the
for Kindle ($29.99) or the
TrendyDigital Splash Proof Case for the
Consider investing in the
E-volve Aquatic Pocket Pouch ($9.99). For
a low-tech option, a large, sealable freezer bag works.
A: Anytime a child connects online, parents
need to be vigilant. Even though most parents connect computer chat
rooms and social media with online predators, kids involved in
multiplayer games on their Xbox or PlayStation also need to
understand the risks.
If your child uses the earphones and chat option on the
gaming console, you may not be aware that language can be profane.
More than just bad words, however, chats during the game can enable
others to encourage a relationship, share personal identifying
information, and make inappropriate or sexual advances.
According to the Entertainment Software Association, the
average gamer is 30-something to consider when you allow your
younger tween or teen to play an interactive game, especially if
the game is rated M for Mature.
How can you keep kids safe without pulling the plug? Start
by sticking closely to the ESRB ratings, then try these
A child who identifies their name
(DizzyLizzy123), school (CoxHighNo1) or creates suggestive tags
(likeshotguys) may invite trouble.
Some gaming consoles allow you to approve the
friends. This means Johnny only can play online with the friends
you approve. Check your gaming console for other parental controls
that can set boundaries for play times and chat options.
You may be surprised at the language, even if you've approved
the players. Many games can be played without much compromise by
turning off the chats. Don't hesitate to put other players on mute
if language is inappropriate.
Let kids know that personal information is not
to be given to strangers-and that advances, flirting or vulgar
sexual talk should be reported.
Sharon Cindrich is a mother of two tech-savvy kids from Virginia Beach. Learn more at sharoncindrich.com.
See more of Sharon's stories here.
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