Child Safety Tips

Although protecting our children is a natural instinct, we offer these helpful child safety tips for parents.

General Child Safety for Parents

  • Straight talk with children works best when discussing the serious topic of personal safety with your children. Do not rely completely on puppets, coloring books, gimmicks, and cartoon characters.
  • Instill in your children a sense of self-worth and dignity at every opportunity.
  • Teach your children basic sex education, (i.e., the areas of the body that are covered by a bathing suit are private).
  • Establish that inappropriate touches are against the law. This gives your child confidence to assert themselves with those who try to abuse them.
  • Allow children to express affection on their terms. Do not instruct them to give kisses or hugs to people they do not know well.
  • Stress that there should be no secrets from you, especially those involving another adult.
  • Explain the importance of reporting abuse or attempted abuse to or another trusted adult. This would also apply to inappropriate touching.
  • Do not rely entirely on the buddy system. In many documented cases, sisters, brothers, and playmates have been victims of terrible crimes when together.
  • Make it a priority to get to know your children’s friends and their families.
  • Encourage involvement in extracurricular activities. Children with many interests are less likely to experiment with drugs or other negative influences.
  • Teach your children to respect, admire and celebrate the differences in people.
  • Ask questions about what your children are doing, where they are going and whom they will be with.
  • Set times to be home or check in. Have a back-up plan.
  • A child’s room should not be considered their private, personal domain where parents are not allowed to check them.
  • Monitor computer and Internet usage, daily, if possible.
  • Above all, encourage your children to recognize, trust, and follow their instincts about people and situations. Listen to their instincts.

Good parenting is asking the hard questions and caring about the answers.

Stranger Safety Tips for Children

What is a stranger?

A stranger is someone that you do not know or your parents do not know. Strangers are even people you see every day. Not all strangers are bad, but it is very difficult to tell bad strangers from good strangers

Examples of strangers:

  • A person you have never met before.
  • A person you may see often, but know nothing about; e.g., the ice cream person, mail person, newspaper person, or a neighbor.
  • A person whose name and address you do not know.
  • A person your parents do not know.
  • Strangers can come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. Even a teenager could be considered a stranger to you.

If approached by a stranger:

  • Don’t talk or go near that person.
  • Don’t accept gifts or rides from that person.
  • Don’t go anywhere with that person.
  • Step backwards if a stranger comes toward you. Turn around and run away.
  • Report strangers to your parents, teachers, bus drivers or a responsible adult you know well.
  • The main rule to remember: Stay away from strangers.

Examples of stranger scenarios:

  • What should you do if a stranger asks you for help or offers you candy, a toy, or a pet?
    Say "NO", turn around and run away.
  • What should you do if a stranger asks you to go for a ride in their car?
    Say "NO", and run in the opposite direction that the car is going.
  • What should you do if a stranger tries to grab you?
    You can yell for help! You can kick, scratch, or bite! You can run away as fast as you can.
  • What should you do if a stranger has a gun and tells you to go with him?
    Yell for HELP! Run away as fast as you can, and continue yelling for help. Go tell an adult.

Always remember to tell your parents, a police officer, a teacher, a bus driver, or another adult you trust and know about what happened as soon as possible.

Being safe at home when you are alone

  • Always lock the door. Do not answer the door if someone knocks. Never let strangers into the house.
  • If the telephone rings, answer it. Do not tell anyone that you are alone. (You can tell them your parent cannot come to the phone right now). Ask who is calling, and offer to take a message.
  • If there is a storm, stay away from the windows.
  • Leave medicines and poisons alone, they can really hurt you.
  • Do not play or touch any guns that might be in the house.

Other rules for safety

  • Never go anywhere without first telling your parents, or the person in charge, where you are going, who is going with you, how you will get there, and when you will be back.
  • Always use the buddy system when playing outside or going places.
  • Always say "NO" if someone tries to touch you in ways that make you feel frightened, uncomfortable, or confused. Always tell a grown-up that you trust about what happened.
  • Always go directly home from school or the bus stop.