As a parent, I am really adraid when there is something happens to my children. If my grandchildren play in their back yard with a constant watch on them, I really fear for them. It is true that our kids’ lives could be threatened as there are so many sich criminals out there waiting for chance to catch them unsupervised. Even a moment can be too late.
A split second of letting our attention wander, allowing them to walk to a neighbors house or even going into a public restroom alone can all be dangers for our children. I always took my grand boys into the women’s restroom with me until they got to the age they refused to go. Now, when ever we are in a public area and they need to go to the restroom, if no male is there to go with them, I stand at the restroom door and talk to the child while they are in there. Any predator should no better than to mess with them while someone is that close to them and listening to their every move.
Short of keeping our children prisoners inside their homes, there are some things to help insure their safety and give parent’s a little peace of mind.
Here are some suggestions to help protect your children no matter whether at home or away:
1. Never leave your children alone; not a home, in a vehicle, a public restroom (stand with your foot in the door if they have to go in alone), at play, or anywhere. One child walked into a convenient store alone to get a snack while her mother pumped gas. She never came out the same door again.
2. Define what a STRANGER is. Let your kids know that just because they see someone everyday (e.g. mailman, paperboy, neighbor, etc.) it does not mean these people are not strangers.
3. Teach your children their full name, your name, full address, and phone number including area codes. Teach them how to use a phone and a cell phone.
4. Teach them how to call 911 or your area’s emergency number or call the operator.
5. Teach them how to give directions to your house in case of an emergency.
6. In places like malls, stores, amusement parks, activity centers, libraries, etc., point out places they can go to get help. Do this when you first arrive at the location. Have a plan to meet each other there if they become separated from you and not to go anywhere else with any adult or teenager (stranger). Teach them to scream for help if anyone tries to make them go anywhere else. Better yet, have a loud personal alarm on them so they can easily mash a button and cause a loud alarm to go off. People will be more attracted to this than a screaming child that they may think is just throwing a temper tantrum.
7. Teach your children the “What if?’ game, making up different dangerous situations they might encounter and helping them play out what they would do in that situation.
8. Take the time to talk to your children and be alert to any noticeable changes in their behavior or attitude toward and adult or teenager; it may be a sign of sexual abuse.
9. Set up procedures with your child’s school or day care center as to whom the child will be released to other than yourself.
10. Teach your children that their body is private and no one has the right to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. If anyone touches them n a wrong way, they should: SAY NO, GET AWAY AND TELL SOMEONE they trust.
11. Always know where your child is, who they are with and what they are doing. Even friends and relatives can be abusers of young children.
12. If your child uses the internet, make sure you know what sites he/she is visiting or who they may be playing on line games with. Keep the computer in area where other family members are there to supervise.
Give yourself some peace of mind and empower your children to be safe, wise and protected.
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