COVID-19 Checklist for Protecting Children
Responding to COVID-19
With schools closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many children will spend more time online or be in positions that could put the, at increased risk. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is alerting parents, guardians, educators, and other caregivers to the possible increased danger of online sexual exploitation and signs of child abuse. Some tips from the Bureau are below. For additional details on exploitation, please read the full FBI document or visit the FBI’s About Protecting Your Kids page.
Online Child Exploitation
- Discuss internet safety with children of all ages who engage in online activity.
- Review and approve games and apps before they are downloaded.
- Set the strictest possible privacy levels on online gaming systems and electronic devices.
- Monitor your children’s use of the Internet; keep electronic devices in an open, common room of the house.
- Check your children’s profiles and what they post online.
- Explain to your children that images posted online will be on the internet permanently.
- Make sure children know that anyone who asks a child to engage in sexually explicit activity online should be reported to a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult and to law enforcement.
- Send a clear message that victims should not be afraid to tell law enforcement if they are being sexually exploited. It is not a crime for a child to send sexually explicit images to someone if they are compelled or coerced to do so.
Child Abuse Awareness
- Teach your children about body safety and boundaries.
- Encourage your children to have open communication with you.
- Be mindful of who is watching your child for childcare/babysitting, playdates, and overnight visits.
- If your child discloses abuse, immediately contact local law enforcement for assistance.
- Children experiencing hands-on abuse may exhibit withdrawn behavior, angry outbursts, anxiety, depression, not wanting to be left alone with a specific individual, non-age appropriate sexual knowledge, and an increase in nightmares.
If you believe you are — or someone you know is — the victim of child sexual exploitation:
- Contact your local law enforcement agency.
- Contact your local FBI field office or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
- File a report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) by calling 1-800-843-5678 or emailing www.cybertipline.org.
- When reporting, be as descriptive as possible. If known, provide the name and/or user name of the offender, email addresses, phone numbers, and websites used by the offender, and a description of all interactions. Try to keep all original documentation, emails, text messages, and logs of communication. Do not delete anything before law enforcement is able to review it.
- Reporting may be embarrassing or uncomfortable for the parent or child, but providing all relevant information is necessary to find the offender and stop the abuse.
For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available. Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 (1-800-846-8517 TTY); connect with a trained counselor through the Ohio Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741; or call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services help line at 1-877-275-6364 to find resources in your community.
Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by taking these precautions.
- Stay home
- Practice Social Distancing
- Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
- Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
- Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
- Clean and disinfect "High-Touch" surfaces often
- Call before visiting your doctor
- Practice good hygiene habits
If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 please call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)
CLEAN ALL "HIGH-TOUCH" SURFACES EVERY DAY
High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.