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Thursday, May 16, 2013
With summer already here for some Kansas kids and just days away for others, parents are starting to set down summer safety rules.
Kids likely only have freedom on their minds. Parents, however, are doing what they can to make sure children stay safe during that free time.
"They're still young, so I don't really let them go anywhere on their own," said Wichita mom Manuela Hernandez. "They go with adult supervision."
That is just one of Hernandez's many rules of summer for her kids, ages 11, 9, 6 and 4.
"Some of my rules are they don't get on the Internet," Hernandez said. "They don't have video games, so that's not really an issue."
Parents of kids who do spend time online during the summer are urged to talk about online safety and make sure they are only communicating with people they know.
"There are a lot of predators online and they know children are out of school and they know that children are on the Internet and are bored, basically," said Melissa Green, an Assistant Sedgwick County District Attorney.
There is no legal limit on how young children can be when they are left home alone during the summer, but parents should use common sense, Green said.
"You need to know your child's maturity," she said. "You need to know your child's limitations. I think it makes sense that under 10 is not advisable to leave a child at home."
Hernandez says a good way to keep kids safe and out of trouble during the summer is to keep them busy.
"Get them in the summer reading program at the Wichita libraries," she said. "They have a reading program. It's free for all kids."
What if that's not enough?
"Give them chores," Hernandez said. "Homework is always good. Taking out the trash, doing laundry, doing dishes, cleaning their rooms, helping neighbors."