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Keeping Kids Safe After School: A Primer for Parents

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Considering after school care for your child? There are some things you should know.

After school is the most dangerous time for kids, said Dr. Lisa Caruthers, of the Cooperative for After School Enrichment, or CASE.

“That three-to six time frame is the most unsafe time for children, that is the peak hours of crime when they are victims or even participating in it,” Caruthers said. “It’s not the nights, it’s not the weekends as you think it would be,” she said.

Dr. Caruthers said kids from elementary to high school can be at risk if left home alone.

Juvenile crime goes up during those hours, teens experiment with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex. There is also the Internet.

Internet predators are growing every day unfortunately. So there’s just so many ways to access our kids, even if they are at home,” Dr. Caruthers warned.

So she recommends finding a safe after school program that engages and supports your child.

There’s something for everyone, from robotics for kindergarteners to after school leadership training programs for high school students.

Dr. Caruthers says the costs vary, from free to sliding scale fees. Just go to www.afterschoolzone.org, put in your zip code and start looking for the program that fits your child’s needs and your pocketbook.

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