Tips for parents
Safety Tips for Parents
- Communication is the key to keeping kids safe
most important thing you can do to keep your child safe is to keep
the lines of communication open. Ask questions, listen to your children
and encourage them to be open with you. Let them know that you will
believe them and you will be there if they need your help.
Tips for parents
Here are some simple steps parents can take to keep kids safe.
- Don't make the mistake of thinking that only young children
are vulnerable. Adolescents and teenagers are also at risk.
- Set a curfew for your child or teen.
- Know your child's friends and their parents. Keep an updated
list of friends' addresses and telephone numbers.
- Designate a "back-up" family member or trusted friend
kids can call if they are unable reach you.
- Make sure your child knows what to do if he or she becomes separated
from you in a public place. Every time you visit a crowded or
public place, point out information centers, staff members with
name tags and police officers so kids know where to go for help.
- If a child abduction happens in the neighborhood or is on the
news, use the opportunity to re-explain safety rules, so that
your child will know what to do in a similar situation.
- Be aware. Know your neighborhood and your neighbors. Know about
your child's day care centers, babysitters, youth organizations
and sports teams, and the people who run them.
- If you use a day care center, make sure the center is licensed
and learn how its staff members are screened. Parents should be
able to come and go as they wish. Visit the center unannounced
and observe the staff and activities.
- Never allow your child or teen to carry items or wear clothing
or jewelry with their name on it.
- Never let your child enter a public restroom alone. Always accompany
younger children and make sure older children and teens are accompanied
by a friend.
- Keep accurate and complete information about your child on hand
at all times. Always carry a current photograph of your child,
regardless of the child's age. Make a mental note of what they
are wearing each day so you will be able to accurately describe
- If your child is missing, report it immediatelydo
What to teach your child
your child safety skills and practice with them. Use "what
if" safety scenarios to see if your child knows what to do.
Remember to always speak to your child in a calm manner. Keep in
mind that you don't have to frighten your child to get the point
across; fear can actually work against you.
If a child abduction occurs in your neighborhood or is in the news,
and your child asks you about it, speak honestly, but with reassurance.
Use the opportunity to review the following safety rules with your
child, so that he or she will know what to do if faced with a similar
Things kids should know in order to protect
- Where they can and can't go in the neighborhood. Make sure kids
know whose home they are allowed to visit without you. Teach them
to contact you immediately if they will be out later than their
- Their name, address, telephone number, how to use a telephone
and how to dial "911" in case of an emergency. Even
young children should know these things. If you have a cell phone,
make sure your child has the number and that the phone is always
turned on. Teach them to call the designated "back-up"
family member or trusted friend if they are unable to reach you.
- That the same safety rules still apply as kids get older, including
using the "buddy system" and letting you know where
they are at all times.
- What to do if they become separated from you in a public place.
Your child should not look for youit will be obvious
that they are wandering around alone.
- To always keep the door locked when home alone and not
to open the door for anyone. Make sure your child knows not to
tell anyone who calls or comes to the door that they are home
- That adults do not need to ask children for directions
or for help finding a puppy or kitten. Teach your child that it
is okay to be suspicious of an adult who seems too friendly.
- That because someone knows their name it doesn't mean the child
should trust that person.
- To trust their instincts. If someone approaches them or tries
to take them away, they should yell, "this is not my mother/father!"
Teach your child that it is okay not to be polite in this case.