SAFETY REMINDERS FOR PARENTS TO SHARE WITH CHILDREN
- Remind children that danger sometimes isn’t in the form of a stranger or a “bad man.” Danger doesn’t have a gender, age, kind of car, or dark scary uniform.
- Adults don’t need help from children, and should never get close to a vehicle. Remind your children that if an adult lost his/her puppy or needs directions, to go get another adult to help. This is the most common ploy to entice children to get into a car. Another ploy is, “Your mom (or dad) was in a car accident and wanted me to take you to the hospital.” Discuss this with your kids and devise an action plan. Consider a code word that will let them know if it is safe to accept a ride from a neighbor. For example, you’re stuck in traffic and the kids are due to get home any minute. You call a neighbor and ask them to pick up the kids. Send a code word so that the kids will know it’s safe.
- Children should travel in packs. There is safety in numbers. Have your children walk home together and never play outside alone. If they are riding their bike to a friend’s house, have them call as soon as they arrive.
- Have designated safe houses. If your child is playing on the block away from the house, have him/her be aware of houses that they can go to that you trust will be safe. These houses would be where they can go for help.
- Get to know your neighbors, their kids and their cars. If you’re familiar with your surroundings, it is easy to identify when something is out of place.
- Report everything. Call your local police department as soon as possible.