Keeping Your Children Safe And Healthy

By Representative Richard Stark

The State of Florida provides resources to protect the health and well-being of children. From protecting children from identity theft to providing resources on healthy eating, our State is helping pave the way for a successful future for the next generation.

Protect Your Child’s Identity

Becoming a victim of identity theft is not just something that happens to adults; children are increasingly targeted as well. Children comprise the fastest-growing segment of identity theft victims. Each year, more than 50,000 children in Florida become victims of identity theft and more than $100 million is stolen using the fraudulently obtained identities of children. Identity thieves target young victims because children have clean credit records, making it easy for the criminal to create new accounts. Because parents often don’t check their child’s credit report, identity theft among children can go undetected for years.

Keep Your Child’s Personal Information Safe

Be cautious when providing your child’s Social Security number (SSN). When a school, youth sports team, or a medical office asks for your child’s Social Security number, question why they need it, what they will do with it and how they plan to keep it safe.

Shred anything with your child’s personal information. Shred forms, documents and mail before disposal.

Never carry your child’s Social Security card. To help reduce the risk for theft, leave your child’s card — and the cards of all the members of your family — in a secure place. Educate your child about  identity theft and the dangers of sharing personal data. Keep your child’s sensitive documents safe and teach them the importance of keeping their Social Security card and other personal information in a secure place.

Contact credit reporting agencies to place a credit freeze on your child’s SSN. The fee to freeze a child’s credit report is $10. If the child has already been the victim of identity theft, the fee is waived. 

Keep Your Children Healthy

Meeting children’s dietary needs is a key component in helping them achieve academic success, and I encourage students and parents to download the Nutrislice app from Google Play or  iTunes. The app, which was launched in Florida in 2013, provides detailed information by specific school on the food choices available, so families can plan their students’ meals and protect them from any food allergies they may have by helping guide their decisions in the cafeteria.

Using  Nutrislice, students can also vote for their favorite foods and compete in educational activities about healthier eating. The State of Florida partnered with Nutrislice to develop this interactive menu and provide it to Florida school districts free of charge. A new function allows kids and parents to plan the entire meal and see the nutritional summary of each item on the menu.

Let’s start the new year off safe and healthy!

  • State Representative Richard Stark (D – Weston) represents House District 104 which includes all of Weston. You can reach Rep. Stark at [email protected] or by calling his legislative office at 954-217-0287.