Keeping your family together and safe is a high priority, and you can never be too prepared for a disaster situation. Teaching and preparing your children for the world before them could be a life-saving measure, and can arm them with skills to keep them safe for the rest of their lives. These safety tips for kids are simple, but imperative in today’s ever-changing world.
Keeping an open and honest line of communication is key. A good relationship between kids and parents keeps communication honest, and they are much more likely to tell you about bothersome situations if they feel that they can trust you. Making sure they know the ugly truth about kidnappings, abductions, and communicating to them that they need to be aware of their surroundings is a conversation that may seem difficult to have, but could be the preventative measure needed to save them from a disaster. It is also important to make sure they know their home address and phone number by heart in case of an emergency, so they can safely find their way home.
Be Cautious of Stranger Interaction
It seems like a no-brainer, but this is a huge one. Predators will often lure children with either the promise of gifts or toys or by asking a child for help in some way. Kids should know to be wary of anything offered to them by a stranger and to ask for parental advice before accepting anything. In the situation of being offered a gift or prize from a stranger and a parent or guardian is not with them, they should be taught to always decline the offer. The same stands true for children being asked for help by a stranger, children should always use caution, and when in doubt, ask a parent. If a stranger approaches a child without a parent and asks for help, teach your children that this is a dangerous red flag and that they should decline and try to find a trusted adult as soon as possible.
Monitor Time Spent Online
It’s no secret that in today’s world children spend a lot of their free time surfing the web, and knowing who they are interacting with could save their lives. It is important to make sure they know you aren’t spying or trying to take their privacy, but simply making sure there is no one trying to take advantage of their vulnerability. It’s just as easy for a predator to use the internet as it is for your kids, so keeping an eye out for interactions that spark a red flag is imperative. The world wide web is vast and ever-changing, and in our modern world, it is a huge part of kids’ lives. Teaching them to be safe online by not sharing personal information such as addresses and phone numbers, and being aware of who they are talking to will help keep their online time safe and secure.
Have a Known Plan of Action
Talking to your kids about the possibility of them being lost in a public place can help them feel more prepared if it actually happens. When you have an outing, sit down with them and make a plan of action for them to follow should anything happen. The plan should include a meeting place for them to feel safe until you can be reunited. Make sure they have your phone number and address memorized and go over this plan with them more than once before the outing takes place. Let them know who they can trust to ask for help, such as an employee or safety officer.
Preparing for the Worst
It’s a disaster no parent wants to think of, but in case of a situation that your child does get taken, it is important that they know what to do. Teach them to be loud, as loud as they possibly can, and get the attention of anyone around them. Being fast, if they hear someone coming up behind them or feel someone grabbing them, teach your kids to run as fast as they can until they reach a trusted adult. Being loud and fast in this situation could save their lives.
Kids Live Safe – Child Safety
Kids Live Safe is an organization with your children’s safety in mind. They have a search tool that allows you to search for sex offenders that live near you. You can also run background searches to view public records on anyone that you might be suspicious about in your neighborhood. On Kids Live Safe’s website, you can find more Child Safety tips through a free e-book that has 34 chapters all about keeping your child safe.