Keeping Kids Safe

Keeping Kids Safe

A great thing about kids is their natural trust in people, especially in adults. It's sometimes hard for parents to teach children to balance this trust with caution. But kids today need to know common-sense rules that can help keep them safe – and build the self-confidence they need to handle emergencies.

Make sure your kids know

  1. How to call 911 or "0" in emergencies, and how to use a public phone. Help them practice making emergency phone calls. Be sure emergency numbers – police, fire, poison control and emergency medical – are by all phones.
  2. Their full name, address, and phone number (including the area code), plus your work phone number. If you have a cellular phone and/or beeper, teach your children these numbers as well.
  3. How to walk confidently and stay alert to what’s going on around them.
  4. To walk and play with friends, not alone.
  5. To refuse rides or gifts from anyone, unless it’s someone both you and your child know and trust.
  6. To tell a trusted adult immediately if anyone, no matter whom, touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Safeguard your children

  1. Learn about warning signs that your child might be involved with drugs or gangs.
  2. Spend time listening to your children or just being with then. Help them find positive, fun activities that they can take part in.
  3. Always know – and know about – your child’s activities. Know where your child is, and when he or she will return.
  4. Be sure you and your child are clear on your rules and expectations for activities. Make absolutely clear what is OK and what is not.
  5. Teach your child Internet safety tips. The people they talk to online might not be who they say they are.

Home alone – what kids should know

  1. What steps you want them to follow when they get home; such as phoning you at work or a neighbor or grandparent who is at home.
  2. Not to let strangers – adults or children – into the home for any reason.
  3. Not to tell telephone callers that they’re alone.
  4. That door and window locks must always be used. Be sure your children know how the work them.
  5. Not to go into the home if a door is ajar or a window is broken, but to go to a neighbor’s or public phone and call the police.
  6. Your rules about acceptable activities when you are not at home. Be very clear.