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Child Safety Tips

  • Make sure children know their full name, address (city and state) and telephone number, including area code.
  • Be sure that children know how to use 911 and how to use a pay phone.
  • Teach children never to accept rides or gifts from people they do not know.
  • Teach children to go to a store clerk, security guard or police officer if they get lost in a mall, store or on the street.
  • Children should be accompanied to restrooms.
  • Show children safe places they can go in your neighborhood in an emergency, like a trusted neighbor's house.
  • Inspect your neighborhood for areas that threaten children's safety, like brush in a wooded area, overgrown shrubbery, poor lighting, etc.

Children need to know how to stay safe and protect themselves from abduction. They need guidance on making safe choices and decisions. Above are some general guidelines and useful tips that parents can share with their children. It is also important to give children examples that they will understand.

First and foremost, explain that strangers should NEVER ask a child for assistance. They should never ask children for directions or for help with something they can do themselves, such as finding a lost puppy or kitten. Discuss the issue of strangers. Simply put, a stranger is someone that a child does not know. Unfortunately, children conjure up the image of a "scary monster" when parents mention the word "stranger." Explain that a stranger may look, act and dress nicely, or even wear a uniform. A child may be in a situation that requires interaction with a stranger, and this may be confusing. As an example, if a child gets lost in a grocery store, the child should immediately go to the checkout counter or security office even though that may mean talking to a stranger. Instruct your child not to wander around looking for you. The child should seek help from someone who works in the store. Role-play in various settings such as a park, a grocery store, your home and your neighborhood. Pose "what if?" scenarios and guide your children through the scenarios safely. Correct any un-safe choices and re-enforce safe choices.

  • Never take anything like candy, ice cream or money from a stranger.
  • Never take a ride from a stranger; check with parents before accepting a ride even from someone they know.
  • Never give their name or address to a stranger.
  • Never say that they are home alone when answering the telephone.
  • Check with a parent or an adult guardian before leaving the yard or play area. Always try to take a friend when playing outside.
  • Create a commotion by yelling and screaming if a stranger tries to take them by force. Try to get away and immediately tell a parent or trusted adult what happened.
  • Never give out your real name, any personal information (like your age or where you live) when you're in a public chat room, on an electronic bulletin board or in your E-mail messages.
  • Make up fun nicknames when you are online.
  • Be very careful when on the Internet. People online may not be who they say they are.
  • Never call anyone you meet on the Internet.
  • Never send anyone you don't know a picture of yourself.
  • Make sure you never give out any passwords. People who work for the Internet will never ask for passwords.
  • Never respond to messages or bulletin board items that are rude, mean or threatening, and make sure you tell an adult if you get a message like that.
  • Realize that everything you read or see on the Internet may not be true.
  • Never let anyone pressure you into doing something you feel uncomfortable doing.
  • Never enter an area on the Internet that charges for services without asking permission from a responsible adult first.
  • Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with any other computer user without getting a parent's permission.
  • Discuss the rules for using the Internet with your parents. They might put restrictions on the computer to help protect you.
  • If you are in a store or closed area do not leave.
  • Look for personnel or staff in a uniform. (Preferably police or security guard first)
  • Let them know you are lost.
  • Give them your first and last name and your parent's name.
  • Be prepared to give them your address and phone number.
  • Tell them whom you were with prior to becoming lost.
  • Be prepared to give a description of what they were wearing.
  • Don't panic, listen to each question, and speak clearly and slowly.
  • Give as much information as possible that you feel may help in locating you parent or guardian.
  • Remember they are trying to help you be returned safely.

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