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| Where Homework and the Internet Meet: LAUNCH POINT


July 27, 1998

Accidents happen, but sometimes they can be prevented. It's difficult to measure how much an ounce of prevention is worth, but knowing some basic safety tips can prove valuable. To learn more about safety, use the direct links on The Times Launch Point Web site:

Here are the best sites for getting your schoolwork done or for just having fun.

Level 1

Kids' Fire Safety Tips: Learn home safety tips from cartoon characters like Buzzy the Smoke Detector and Squirt the Water Drop. Draw an emergency escape plan for your house that shows exits and smoke detectors as well as where your family will meet outside.

Internet Safety Game: It's important to not give out personal information like your address or telephone number online unless you have permission from your parents. Learn other Internet safety tips as well as Web manners through some animated quizzes.

Energy Safety Coloring Book: Let Smarty the Dog teach you safety tips about using electricity such as being sure to fly kites away from power lines.

Level 2

Kid Safety: It's helpful to know what to do if you get lost, meet a new dog on the street, encounter a bully. Know how to call for help in an emergency: Dial 911 and stay on the line until you're asked to hang up.

Safety City: Vince and Larry, the crash test dummies, teach traffic smarts through video clips, quizzes and other activities. Find out how you can ride bikes, cars and school buses safely.

The Preventer's Fireworks Safety Web Site: An estimated 7,600 people were treated for fireworks-related injuries in 1996. Learn safety rules through this collection of illustrated stories and games. See if you can pass the Junior Fire Marshall's Quiz.

Level 3

Teen New Drivers' Home Page: People who combine driving with talking on a phone are four times more likely to have an accident. Learn safety tips for a variety of situations: from driving in bad weather or busy traffic to how to pass other cars and parallel park.

Earthquake Preparedness Month Resources: Be prepared for the next big earthquake by learning safety and preparedness tips for different situations, including specific ways to help children, the elderly, the physically challenged and pets. Print out your own emergency supplies checklist and organize a before-and-after quake plan.

Baby-Sitting Safety Tips: Babysitters need to be careful, not only concerning themselves with the children in their care, but also with their own safety. Whether you are looking after your siblings at home or watching someone else's kids, this site offers valuable advice on how to handle different situations.

Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for a ppropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children's use of the Internet. This week's column was designed by Rong-Huey Faustine Chien, Anna Manring and Stan Woo-Sam.

Explorer's Quest:

What did Garrett A. Morgan invent in 1923 that helped make roads safer for automobiles and horse-drawn carriages?


See Safety City's Safety School

Find What You Need to Know: Have a project on California history? Need help doing a math problem? Launch Point now covers more than 50 topics for getting your schoolwork done. Go to for the full list of subjects and direct links to the best Internet sites.

Answer to last week's Quest: Volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

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