SIDNEY — The coronavirus has changed everyone’s lives. For parents with children in school, they have seen a change from on-site education to virtual classes from their homes.
And with those changes, said Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart, parents must remain alert to the dangers of the Internet and of the student being home alone all day long.
“Many students and parents are opting for online classes,” said Lenhart, “for teaching and with It comes some problems.”
“Gun safety is something parents must think about,” he said. Since the pandemic hit, some kids are in isolation at home and they are finding unsecured guns in the home.”
Since March, he said, 350 children have died due to an unintentional shooting across the nation. “Seventy-seven percent of the shootings have occurred in the child’s home. “
And with the pandemic, Americans are applying for more conceal carry permits because they are concerned for their safety and that of their family.
“There have been 32 million background checks since the first of the year,” said Lenhart. “The top three states are North Dakota, Oregon and Ohio. There are 6.9 million new gun owners in America. Forty percent of them are women and 48% are Black.”
Lenhart said there are623,000 conceal carry permits in Ohio. In Shelby County, there are 7,000. Since March, the number in the county has increased by 700.
he urges new gun owners to talk with their children about the dangers of a gun. He said all guns should be locked up.
“It’s the parents responsibility to keep the gun out of the hand of their teenagers and children,: said Lenhart.’
Internet safety is also a concern when the child is home along during the day.
“Parents should check their child’s internet use,” said Lenhart. “They should never put any personal information on Facebook or other social media. Parents should watch what their children are doing and educate them about the dangers of the Internet.
“They should never meet a person that they met online,” he said. “We warn our children about the danger of strangers and now, because of the Internet, we’re inviting them into our homes.”
Kids, he said, can also get into trouble by posting inappropriate photos of themselves online.
And parents should also be aware of bullying online.
“A person will bully a person through technology that they would never do to the person’s face. They also have to remember anything they put online goes viral and it’s there forever,” said Lenhart.
Keep your passwords safe and never share them with someone else, he said.
Lenhart expressed his appreciate for the reserve deputies who handed out candy on trick or treat night in several communities such as Anna, Botkins, Russia and Sidney.
“They wen through the candy pretty quick,” said Lenhart. “It was raining a couple of nights when they handed out candy.”
The Sidney Daily News conducts a weekly interview to update readers with news from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 555 Gearhart Road, Sidney.