Keeping Our Kids Safe

19 Feb

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With more and more media coverage in our lives we find that the world we live in can be a scary one and a dangerous one for our children. As much as we’d love to create a safe bubble to keep our children in forever, we know that this is not possible. With recent events in the news of kidnappings and the scary statistics of child predators out there we need to act and take precautionary measures to protect our children. 

Experts suggest that as parents, you need to start early and emphasize prevention. A recent article about talking to your children about staying safe provided these bullet points to cover: 

  • Discuss safety issues in a calm manner, reassuring and matter-of-fact way, as you would discuss other safety issues—such as seat belts, traffic rules, etc.
  • Have ongoing discussions. Talk openly about strangers, and emphasize:
    • Never go anywhere, get in a car, answer questions, or accept anything from someone you don’t know.
    • Remember that certain people, although you don’t know them personally, can be sources of help – police officer, sales person, a parent with children, a guard in the mall.
  • Make safety issues an everyday part of life. Create scenarios and role play (even when not an emergency) such as “What if somebody you don’t know comes to pick you up at school?” of “What would you do if a person you don’t know in a car asks you for directions?”
  • When feasible, remind your child to use a cell phone and check in with you at regular intervals.
  • Teach strategies to follow if child feels in danger. Here are some examples:
      • The No-Go-Tell system:
        • No – say no 
        • Go – leave the situation, and
        • Tell – immediately tell an adult what happened
      • For an older childuse the 3Ws:
        • Who I’m going with
        • Where I’ll be, and
        • When I’ll be home
  • In an extreme situation in which children may be forced into a car, they should be told to yell, scream and struggle the whole time and try to get into the backseat. If they’re put in a trunk, they should kick out the taillights.

While some of these may be scary things to talk about with your children, the safety of our children is of utmost importance and having a good preventative plan in place can be the difference we need.

– Sara 

 
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