As COVID-19 Increases Kids’ Screen Time, Parents Should Be Increasing Their Online Oversight

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A Bucks County nonprofit, Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA), has stepped up its efforts against online inappropriateness and dangers, reports Shawnette Wilson for FOX 29 News. 

Increased diligence, NOVA asserts, is warranted because kids in COVID-world are spending more time than ever in front of their devices. Pandemic restrictions have made tech the bedrock of not only their socializing but also their educations. 

NOVA recently brought its safety recommendations and reminders to the Bristol Township School District. 

“Whatever it is that they are doing on social media, we want to instill good skills,” Pattie Cavalli, NOVA Education Awareness Coordinator, said. Students learn things like password protection, privacy settings and social responsibility. 

“Are they friends in real life or are they just friends you’ve met online?” she asked hypothetically, illustrating the danger of cyber-anonymity. 

“Should someone ask us to send pictures of them or ourselves? Absolutely not. 

“Should someone ask us to text inappropriate comments to them? Absolutely not,” said Cavalli. 

Cavalli advised the students to reach out if something in the NOVA presentation resonated in a personal, uncomfortable way – or even if a friend expresses unease. She urged them to be vocal, either to an organization like NOVA or a responsible adult. The 24-hour hotline number is 800.675.6900. 

More on NOVA and its educational outreach is at FOX 29 News

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