6 September 2018
As you may be aware, there have been a number of attempted abductions of children in our areas recently. This leaves millions of parents extremely concerned about the safety of their children.
According to experts, the goal is to teach children basic safety skills without instilling unnecessary fears. The last thing you want is for your child to live in constant fear. We need to provide our children with the skills and confidence to know how to react when confronted with a situation.
Some tips to help keep our children safe
- Make sure that your child knows your name, address, and phone number(s).
- Teach them how to make emergency calls.
- Make sure your child knows that he/she must RUN if they feel unsafe
- Remind them that it is OK to be RUDE to a grown-up if they feel unsafe.
- Teach them not to keep secrets from you.
- Tell them not to let anyone on the phone or at the door know when they are home alone.
- Instruct them that if they get lost, they must go to the nearest help desk or security and ask for help. They must stay where they are until they are found.
- Explain the dangers of wondering around alone, even in public places like shopping malls.
- Instruct them to avoid shortcuts and not to walk alone.
- Tell them that if they are ever confronted by a stranger that they MUST, scream, kick, bite and FIGHT as hard as they can to get away! They must draw as much attention to themselves as they can.
- Encourage them to speak to you or a trusted adult if someone is asking them to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable. Do not ignore anything that your child tells you.
- Teach your children not to give any personal information to people online without your permission
- Don’t post your daily movements on social media – and instruct your children to keep their movements private.
- If possible, arrange that your children do not walk the same route to school every day.
- Try to work out schedules so they can leave home at different times.
- Work hard to establish trust and communication with your children at all times!
- Don’t ever leave children unattended in a vehicle, whether it is running or not.
- Make sure you know how to find or contact your children at all times.
- VERY IMPORTANT: Ensure that you update your contact details at your child’s schools on a regular basis.
- Take an active role in your children’s activities.
- Take regular photographs of your children
- Make a mental note of what your children wear on a daily basis
- As tired as you may be, take the time to listen intently to your children when they tell you about their fears. There could be a reason. Trust your instincts.
- Talk to your children about inappropriate incidences you hear on the news and get their perspective.
- Speak openly to your child about the social concerns and the importance of speaking to you about their concerns and fears
- Question and monitor anyone who takes an unusual interest in your children.
- Teach your children that they can be rude to an adult if they feel threatened in any way. They need to hear it from your directly because this message often contradicts everything they have heard before.
- Teach children not to keep secrets and ensure that you manage the situation appropriately if your child shares secrets with you
- Have your children practice their most annoying scream. They may need to use it someday.
- Check websites for registered offenders in your neighborhood. Talk to your children about why these people should be avoided.
- Keep your family computer in a central location that is easily monitored and avoid letting your children have internet access in unsupervised areas (i.e. computers in their bedrooms, etc.).