1. Teach children to seek help if anything seems unsafe.
If you help kids build safety habits, it will encourage them to frequently talk with you about problems they are facing with others in town or in school.
2. Practice having a safety plan.
Talk with your child about who they could get help from everywhere they go. Practice how to acquire help from safe adults in the case of an emergency, or seek out safe places. Practicing helps kids take charge of their safety with confidence if you are separated at a park, fair, store or other public setting. It even helps to practice running and yelling for help in a loud strong voice. Explain that your voice can get the attention of people who can help you.
3. Do not allow a child to roam alone.
Letting a child roam, whether it is coming home from school or walking about the park, is not safe, especially if the child is younger than 12-years-old. Even preteens should not be allowed to wander alone. There are strength in numbers, as well as intimidation and a large number of witnesses. Children younger than 12 should always be accompanied by an adult if possible. Although preteens will do what they will, exercise caution with your child and suggest that they walk with friends if they wish to go somewhere without a guardian.
4. Teach kids about personal information.
Personal information is any information about you, ways to contact you, or where you live or go to school. This includes your name, phone number, address, family members’ names, the name of your school, friends’ names, etc. The truth is, sometimes children do give personal information to strangers because they see adults being asked for identification, names, credit card numbers, etc. Teach your child that children should never give personal information to a stranger without checking first with the adults who are responsible for their safety. Teach children to walk away with awareness and confidence and without talking if a stranger starts asking about their personal information.
5. Help children practice how to ‘Move Away and Check First’.
Young kids who are on their own should be aware of their surroundings while talking with a stranger. They should never approach within several yards reach if possible, and always remain vigilant of the strangers’ actions. The best response is to move away while keeping a watchful eye on the stranger.
Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24, or firstname.lastname@example.org.