"Strangers pose the biggest safety risk to my child..." This statement may be the most common myth surrounding child safety. In many cases, victims and parents know the perpetrator who is often a family member or trusted friend and responsible for your child's safety.
While diligence is needed at home, children also need protection when they are out. Unfortunately, they are confused with the complex concept of strangers which makes "Stranger Danger" difficult to grasp. A better approach is to teach children about good "friends" who help during emergencies.
Some friends are: Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters, Doctors, and Medics.
Set positive examples and help children talk with "friends."
- Children should know their full name and home phone number.
- Teach children that adults shouldn't approach kids for help or directions and to immediately tell a "friend."
- Don't drop off children at malls, movie theaters, video arcades, or parks for unsupervised time.
- Never leave children unattended in automobiles.
- Tell children it's OK to say "NO" to strangers.
Safety at home
- Post rules where children see them.
- Choose baby-sitters with care. Contact references and listen why children do not like the baby-sitter.
- Teach children to lock doors and do not open or talk with anyone at the door.
- If children are home alone arrange for a family friend to stop by and call often!
- Store poisonous materials out of children's reach.
- Set the water heater below 120 degrees.
- Keep pot and pan handles turned toward the back of the stove.
- Keep knives, forks, graters and other sharp utensils away from children.
- Jewelry can choke children if swallowed.
Safety in the neighborhood
- Pick neighborhood boundaries using significant landmarks.
- Regularly check to make sure your child remains inside the boundaries.
- Reinforce the "buddy system."
- Tell children which neighbors they may visit.
- Be aware of unfamiliar cars in the area.
- Interact regularly with neighbors.
If your child is missing
: Check closets, laundry, in & under beds, inside appliances, and vehicles. Look outside and anywhere a child may hide. Call 911 if your child is still missing!
In a store
: Notify the store manager or security office. Call 911.
: Child's name, date of birth, height, weight, unique identifiers (marks, scars, glasses, braces, ect.), clothing description and time your child was seen. Provide
Tips for kids
- Spend time!
- Listen to them
- Know their friends
- Set & enforce rules