Kids, what are some ways to protect yourselves on the Internet?
The Internet is a great resource. It can help you with your homework and provide entertainment with games and music. But, as with any other undertaking, you must protect yourself at all times. Here are just a few ways you can make the Internet a safe and helpful resource. Never give personal information to anyone on the Internet. Don't enter your name, your phone number, your street address or your email address, without first discussing it with your parents. Never agree to meet anyone you meet on the internet Don't say mean things or be abusive to people you meet on the Internet. If others say mean or dirty things to you on the Internet go elsewhere on the Internet or sign off quickly. The easy way to do this is to click the HOME button on the task bar of your browser. Always tell your parents if this happens to you. A person you meet on the Internet may not be who he says he is. It is easy to pretend to be someone other than who you are on the Internet. You should not be on a site or in a chat room if you would be uncomfortable sharing that experience with your parents. If you come across a site that makes you uncomfortable or if someone tries to get personal information from you, just click the "HOME" button at the top of the browser. Remember... Don't do anything online that you know you shouldn't do in real life. Come back to this site, again. More helpful information will be added from time to time.
Almost every kid owns a bike which can be a great source of enjoyment. Here are a few helpful hints to help you enjoy your bike safely. You should...
- When riding on the street, keep right and ride single file. Observe all traffic signals and signs, the same as other vehicles do.
- Signal before turning or stopping.
- Avoid riding on sidewalks.
- Never carry other riders on your bike.
- Never carry bulky packages on your bike that might hinder the control of your bike..
- Never attach your bike to a moving vehicle or allow others to attach their bikes to yours.
- Make sure your brakes, lights, tires and fenders are properly adjusted.
- Have reflectors on front and rear lights.
- Write down the serial number, make and model of your bike and put it, along with a photograph of your bike, in a safe place. Perhaps your parents would put it in their bank safety deposit box. In the event your bike is ever stolen this will be helpful in getting it back to you. The serial number is usually found on the bottom of the crank housing. Turn the bike upside down and stand it on the seat and handlebars. The number should be found on the pedal crank housing.
- Keep your bike in good mechanical condition.
- Check your tires frequently. Tires should be inflated to 40 - 50 psi for off-road knobbies and 85 - 95 psi for road tires. If your tire leaks, fix it or have it fixed. A new inner tube costs only $3 - $4 at department or a bike store. Be sure to get the right size of inner tube for your tires. Inner tubes are measured by radius and for the width of the tube. For example, a 26 X 2.1 inner tube means that it fits a wheel that is 26 inches in diameter having a tire up to 2.1 inches wide.
- Check your wheels for true. If you turn your bike upside down (resting on the handlebars and seat), your wheel should spin freely and not rub the brakes. If your tire rubs the brakes, the brakes can eventually wear through the tire and cause it to shred. Also, a wheel that is out of true will wobble, creating stability problems (especially at higher speeds) and will take more energy to peddle. If your wheel is out of true, either adjust the spoke tension to bring it back in true or have a bike shop adjust it for you. If you have never trued a wheel before, have a bike technician give you instructions before attempting to do it yourself. Doing it incorrectly can ruin your wheels.
- Check your spokes. Turn your bike upside down (resting on the handlebars and seat) and check the tension of your spokes by lightly pinching two spokes that are next to each other together with your fingers. Do this for every pair of two spokes around each tire. Spokes should be intact and tight. Broken or loose spokes can cause your wheel to be out of true or to fail completely. If you find spokes that are loose or broken, have them replaced at a bike repair shop or bike store immediately.
- Check your brakes and brake pads. When you apply your brakes, they should be even and smooth, coming together on the rim of the wheel (not rubbing the tire) at the same time, forming a flat surface. If your brake pads rub your tires, they can eventually cause your tires to shred. If your brake pads do not come together evenly or if they do not form a flat surface (ie: if they toe in) on the rim, they can cause uneven wear on your pads or eventual damage your rim. If your brake pads are worn or need adjusting, have them replaced or fixed at a bike shop.
- Clean and oil your chain frequently: At least once a week, clean your chain with a rag and re-oil it. To do this, turn your bike upside down (resting on the handlebars and seat) and wrap a clean rag around the chain and hold the chain and rag in your hand. Turn your pedals very slowly so the chain goes through the clean rag for 30 seconds or so. After this is done, take your bike lubricant (available at any bike store for less than $3...I like to use Tri-flow) and apply it to the chain by holding the bottle upside down in one spot over the chain and dripping oil onto it as you slowly turn your peddles. Once the chain is well lubricated, wipe it again with a clean rag for several seconds using the same process you used to clean the chain. This removes the excess oil and keeps dirt from collecting on the chain so rapidly.
- Always wear your helmet! Buy a helmet that fits right. It should be snug and comfortable with no play as you shake your head. A good helmet doesn't have to cost hundreds of dollars but you should spend enough to get one that feels comfortable. If a helmet fits right and feels comfortable, you are more likely to wear it than if it is awkward and cumbersome. Have fun and ride safely.
Lots of kids make spending money by baby sitting. This is great if the sitter knows and understands what a terrific responsibility baby sitting is. Make this pledge to yourself before you sit for a family ... I will stay awake, alert and watchful. I will make sure I have the phone numbers of the doctor, police and fire departments handy by the phone. I will follow the same rules I would at home and will follow any additional requests made by the children's parents. I will ask the location and phone number of the parents' destination in case they must be reached and I will advise my own parents of my location and phone number. I will call and advise my parents if the children's parents are late in returning home. I will answer phone calls and take messages, but I will never advise the caller that I am only the babysitter. I will lock all outside doors after the parents leave and I will not open them to any stranger. I will never permit the children to play with matches, guns, knives or other sharp or dangerous objects. If they play outside I will watch them constantly and only allow them to play in areas designated by the parents. I will follow all instructions given me by the parents concerning food and medicine. I will not have guests unless approved by the parents and I will not tie up the telephone by making calls to my friends. I will faithfully follow all instructions given to me by the parents. If my employer is intoxicated upon returning home, I will call my parents to come and pick me up. I will never get into a car with someone who has been drinking.
According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, approximately 24,000 Americans are killed annually with handguns; as many as are killed annually by drunk drivers. If you must keep guns in your home, here are some ideas on how to keep them as safely as possible. Explain to your child that guns don't solve problems. Teach your child that guns can kill or cause life-long disabilities and pain. Children imitate what they see. The average American child sees 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on TV and in the movies before they graduate from elementary school. Talk to your child about the differences between television violence and real-live violence. If you have a gun in your home, keep it unloaded and locked away from your child's reach. If you must have guns within reaching distance of small children, make sure that they have a trigger locking device installed on them. Always store bullets locked in a separate place from the guns in which they are used. Stress to children how to contact someone for help in the event something does happen. They must not be afraid to go for help. A life may depend on it. Even if you do not have children in your home, you need to protect visiting children by following the same precautions.
For more information contact:
The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence
1225 Eye St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
National Rifle Association
PO Box 37298
Washington, DC 20005