Safety Tips for children
Parents, guardians, and adults who care for children face constant challenges when trying to help keep children safer in today’s fast-paced world. For decades, children were taught to stay away from “strangers.” But this concept is difficult for children to grasp and often the perpetrator is someone the child knows. It is more beneficial to help build children’s confidence and teach them to respond to a potentially dangerous situation, rather than teaching them to look out for a particular type of person.
In today’s world, it is vital that families know and teach their children personal safety. Here is a list of some tips most shared with parents.
- Never leave children unattended in a vehicle, whether it is running or not. Children should never be left unsupervised or allowed to spend time alone or with others in vehicles as the potential dangers to their safety outweigh any perceived convenience or “fun.”
- Always accompany your child to the bathroom in a public place. Older children may want to wander off and browse alone in a mall, at the beach, etc. Do not allow this.
- Make sure you know where each of your children is at all times. Know your children’s friends and be clear with your children about the places and homes they may visit. Make it a rule for your children to check in with you when they arrive at or depart from a particular location and when there is a change in plans. You should also let them know when you’re running late or if your plans have changed to show the rule is for safety purposes and not being used to “check up” on them.
- Avoid buying children clothing displaying their names. A young child is usually ready to trust anyone who uses his/her name. Explain that someone who knows your name may not know you or your parents.
- Be involved in your children’s activities: Know the places he or she goes and know the other adults who are involved.
- Listen to your children. Pay attention if they tell you they don’t want to be with someone or go somewhere. This may be an indication of more than a personality conflict or lack of interest in the activity or event.
- Set up strict procedures with your child’s school or child care centre as to whom the child will be released other than yourself. Develop a strict password with your child as a backup safety strategy. Insist that the school notify you if the child does not show up on time if he/she walks or rides the bus.
- Notice when anyone shows one or all of your children a great deal of attention or begins giving them gifts.
- Take the time to talk to your children about the person and find out why the person is acting in this way.
- If you find yourself in a position where a child appeals to you for help, be prepared to give it. Provide for a security guard or someone in authority. Keep an eye on the child and get help.
- Be sensitive to any changes in your children’s behavior or attitude. Encourage open communication and learn how to be an active listener. Look and listen to small cues and clues indicating something may be troubling your children, because children are not always comfortable disclosing disturbing events or feelings. This may be because they are concerned about your reaction to their problems. If your children do confide problems to you, strive to remain calm, noncritical, and nonjudgmental. Listen compassionately to their concern, and work with them to get the help they need to resolve the problem.
- Practice basic safety skills with your children. Make an outing to a mall or park a “teachable” experience in which your children practice checking with you, using pay telephones, going to the restroom with a friend, and locating the adults who may be able to help if they need assistance.
- Be matter of fact and calm in discussing good and bad touch and personal safety with children. Don’t teach fear, teach facts and strategies.
- Remember there is no substitute for your attention and supervision. Being available and taking time to really know and listen to your children helps build feelings of safety and security.
And at last most important thing is that your child should know his full name, address and important phone numbers