New safety program aims to help protect kids on summer vacation

Monique Burr Foundation launches Summer Safety Matters campaign

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Kids face many new, unique risks during summer months when they’re out of school. The Monique Burr Foundation for Children launched a new Summer Safety Matters campaign, which aims to protect children and teens by providing educational resources for parents and students to help prevent increased risks of abuse and victimization that can occur during the summer months.

Summer is a time when many kids and teens attend camps and other programs. While most are generally safe places for children, predators look for places like those in order to find victims. The foundation believes parents should be aware of what to look for in organizations, programs and camps where they will leave their children, and find out about the facility’s child protection policies.

Visiting relatives, attending pool parties and having sleepovers with friends are favorite summer pastimes. However, research shows most sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone a child knows and trusts, like a relative, a babysitter, a friend’s big brother or parent. It’s wise for parents to be cautious about who their child is spending time with, but you don’t always have to say no. With some precautions and conversations with your child, they can spend time with friends and others and be safe.

Without school, homework and other school-time activities, kids will spend more unsupervised time online during the summer. The foundation wants parents to be aware of the various digital dangers posed by the internet, apps, gaming sites and virtual reality sites, and should educate their children about those dangers as well.

Parents can go online to to learn more and complete educational Summer Safety Matters activities with their kids. The activities will help protect kids by teaching them important safety lessons, and they can earn fun prizes, too.