News

60773325 3261089087250108 8212731730633687040 n

Navigating COVID-19 at home

We’re all experiencing changes to our work and lifestyle and COVID-19 is now part of our living history. Schools are closed; sports are cancelled; people are being quarantined, all on a global level. There is information overload, fake news, scamming and families routines that use to be ‘normal’ now everything but.

So how do we navigate the changes, adjust to the new ‘norm’ and keep our children feeling safe and settled.  Here are some tips to navigate through COVID-19 at home.

Avoid getting caught up in the hype and fear

Select one or two information sources for your news, to avoid false reports and unscientific claims. For the most accurate information download the Australian Government’s Coronavirus app or WhatsApp messaging service or visit the Department of Health website.


Take breaks from your newsfeed

Make sure you don’t get information overload.  It’s important to be updated but for good health reasons:

  • Try other activities like reading something you enjoy or playing board games when the working day is done.

  • Incorporate a home office exercise or walk each morning  or evening to clear the mind.

  • Take regular breaks — put down your phone or walk away from your screen. 

 

Scamming

There is always someone out there waiting to take advantage of a situation.  Unfortunately COVID-19 is no different.  Be aware of some of the scamming methods catching people out.

  • Coronavirus cure? Don’t be ripped off by the online offers — currently there are no vaccines for COVID-19, but there are lots of dodgy pills and fake remedies. Just adhere to the Australian Governments advice of staying at home, washing your hands and social distancing.  There is no magic cure.

  • If you’re using Zoom or other video conferencing platforms to stay in touch with friends or your children are using it for school make sure you select a password to stop unwanted viewers.

  • Don’t click on text message links about COVID-19, even if they look like they are from the government — scammers are exploiting the hunger for information to spread malware and phishing scams. Australian Government agencies will never send a text containing web links.

  • Be suspicious of COVID-19 emails too, especially if you do not recognise or trust the address. They could contain a link to a fake website where you are encouraged to enter confidential details that scammers use to steal your money.

 

New home environments and how to help kids stay safe online

Many parents are now working from home with their children home as well, and because this is not happened before, it can be stressful for everyone. We all need routine in our lives so sit down with the family and map out together clear expectations and guidelines that can be changed as need be. With home schooling commencing in Term 2, COVID-19 will mean children and young people spending more time online. There are a lot of great ways they can use connected devices to learn and play, but there are also risks that you can help them avoid. Make sure you:

  • Have a conversation with your children about how much time they can spend online each day (especially now it will be for school and free time)

  • Ensure they don’t provide any personal details

  • Use parental controls and safe search options

  • Check smart toy settings

  • Look and monitor for unwanted contact and grooming

  • Make sure your child’s accounts are set to private

  • Encourage them to delete requests from strangers and any contacts they don’t know personally

  • Report and block anyone suspicious on a website or service

  • If they become aggressive or threatening, call the police

92242623 1082629218761553 1605878294765371392 n

Know the signs of cyberbullying

Kids who are bored by long periods at home can take their frustration out on each other, and this means online too. So it’s important to keep an eye out for cyberbullying. It can include mean posts, comments and messages, as well as being left out of online group activities such as gaming. 

  • Remember, when they are away from school, kids have less access to their usual support systems, including friends, teachers and counsellors. 

  • Watch out for signs like your child or teen appearing upset after using their mobile, tablet or computer, being unusually secretive about their online activities or becoming withdrawn.

  • Cyberbullying can make social isolation worse and the longer it continues, the more stressed young people can become, impacting on their emotional and physical wellbeing.

 

What to do if your child is being cyberbullied

  • report the cyberbullying to the social media service where it is occurring

  • collect evidence of the cyberbullying material

  • if the material is still public 48 hours later, make a report to the Office of the esafety Commissioner - they work with social media platforms to have the harmful content removed.

  • block the offending user.

Kids, teens and young adults can contact Kids Helpline that also has useful information for parents too.

 

Home learning resources

92369597 647109872800128 3693527031082909696 n

We are proud to launch our online educational resources for primary and secondary students!

Primary students will have access to our primary school incursions re-imagined as Constable Care TV web series. Upcoming episodes will cover curriculum-linked topics such as protective behaviours, internet safety, road safety, first aid and more.

Also on offer for primary students is our free road safety app Arility. It brings road safety lessons to life using augmented reality. 

Looking for lesson ideas? Our comprehensive teacher resources have plenty of free curriculum-linked lesson plans for you to use.

 

Secondary students will also have the opportunity to participate in online Forum Theatre workshops .

Don't forget to check out our Your Call Interactive Films. Your Call films cover topics such as substance abuse, bullying, mental health and more. But there is a twist. The ending of each film is entirely dependent on your choices. Your Call films teach students about consequences and important health topics. Each films comes with comprehensive teacher resource packs.

Join Us Online