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A Parent's Guide to Child Safety

DDancewRose200Child Safety starts with “you” the parent/guardian. We must teach our children to be safe and to follow our lead in personal safety. Take the time to teach your child these important safety tips to help reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime or the victim of a child predator.

 

Safety While at Home Alone

  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Acknowledge all callers through a locked door. Never let anyone know
    you are alone. Tell callers to come back later and if they do not leave, call 9-
    1-1.
  • Answer all telephone calls. Remember to NEVER let anyone know you are
    home alone.
  • Post important telephone numbers near all phones in case of emergencies:
    Call 9-1-1 for Police, Fire, Ambulance, Poison Control. Parent’s/guardian’s
    work and cellular phone numbers. Neighbor’s phone numbers.
  • If a latch key child: Check with parent/guardian or neighbor upon arrival at
    home. Explain to the child the consequences of not making the call.
  • Never display the house key around the home (keep the key concealed).
  • No visitors are allowed while the parents/guardians are not at home.
  • Never enter the house when you find the door ajar or a window open.
  • Develop a safe route to and from school/playground with your child. Stress to your child to stick to this route and explain the reasons why this is important.
  • Never take short cuts through fields, construction sites, wooded areas, or dark isolated streets/alleys.
  • Familiarize your child with your neighborhood.
  • “Safe Havens”- If your child is out, these are the places your child can go for safety: Houses of neighbors you trust, stores, shops, police and fire stations, business offices.
  • Walk/play with other children and try not to be alone. There is always safety in numbers.
  • Be alert and aware of people and their surroundings.
  • Stay in well-lighted areas.
  • Teach your child to report suspicious persons to you, teachers, or police officers.
  • If your child is approached or followed by a suspicious vehicle or person: Scream, run away in the opposite direction, run to a safe haven, and call the police.
  • Teach your child what to take notice of when they encounter a suspicious vehicle or person: Type and color of vehicle, license plate number, Male/Female, clothing description, distinguishing marks.
  • Never hitchhike.
  • Talk to your child about their friends (get to know them).
  • Let your child know that they can dial 9-1-1 from a public phone for free.
  • When looking for a daycare/after school program for your child: Verify the business license and certificates. Review the staff qualifications. Discuss the rules for visitations, check-ins and outs, and safety precautions Talk to friends and neighbors about the business and it’s reputation.
  • Check out your child’s school policy on absenteeism. (Are the parents notified?)
  • What is the school’s policy on visitations? (Discuss all safety concerns with the school.)

Child Lures

Child Predators/Abductors look for children who:
  • Appear unkempt or neglected.
  • Are small built.
  • Travel alone, especially at night.
  • Frequent video arcades.
  • Smoke at an early age.
Common Child Rules
  • Request for Assistance: The child is asked directions, assistance to find small animals, carry groceries, etc.
  • Prevention: Let your child know that adults DO NOT ask children for assistance. Your child should step back and run.
  • Emergency: This lure is used to confuse the child. Example: “Your mommy was taken to the hospital and she sent me here to pick you up.”
  • Prevention: Establish a list of trusted persons that can pick up your child in an emergency and teach your child that they may only leave with someone from that list.

What Your Child Should Know

 

  • Full name and address including city, state, and zip code
  • Parent’s/Guardian’s full name
  • Home phone number, including area code
  • Emergency phone number 9-1-1. How/when to use it
  • Never accept things or go anywhere or with anyone without parent/guardian’s permission
  • Safe havens
  • What a stranger is - (Anyone you don’t know good or bad)
  • NO one has the right to touch them
  • Threatening areas (wooded lots, alleyways, etc.)
  • How to operate door and window locks
  • Escape routes from the house and vehicle and the designated meeting point
  • That their parents/guardians will always love them

What Parents/Guardians Should Know

  • Do not place the name of your child on their clothing
  • If your child walks to school or in your neighborhood, walk with them and
    discuss the safe routes and safe havens
  • Have your child fingerprinted and keep updated records, including the
    child’s photo and a hair sample
  • The name of your child’s playmates and their parents
  • Important contact information if your child is missing