Nobody understands the importance of child safety better than policemen. A former police officer, Samantha Wilson, author of “Safe Kids Safe Families,” shares a host of helpful advice and information with parents in her book.
Many people think that it’s best to keep your child under lock and key and never let them be near strangers whatsoever. This is a dangerous attitude, as it pulls your child away from society, and may cultivate an attitude of fear and anxiety around people in later years of their life. It’s good for your children to talk to strangers, but it’s also very important to set boundaries and make sure to take precautions beforehand.
Teach your children to make sure that you, the parent, know where they are at all times, but don’t teach them to be wary of everybody. It’s fine, and somewhat natural for children to be friendly and unafraid of strangers (in the right environment). Furthermore, it is a parent’s job to make sure a child’s friendliness doesn’t get out of hand, but not to quash their kind spirit altogether.
That being said, make sure that your child doesn’t interact with strangers without explicit parental permission, and you shouldn’t have any problems. You aren’t a child, and you can trust yourself to be a good judge of character, so if you trust somebody, then your child should too.
Child Safety At School
This is a tip that may seem strange at first but is incredibly important. Don’t put your child’s name on their items. Children are likely to trust people who know their names, so if somebody notices your child’s name on their lunchbox and calls them by it, your child is most likely going to assume that this is somebody they should trust, even if it is somebody they don’t know whatsoever.
You should never print your kid’s name on their clothing or use name tags in public. If you want to mark something as theirs, put a familiar and memorable symbol on the item rather than their name. Samantha Wilson discusses more on this technique at the bottom of this article.
Role-Play Child Safety At Home
Kate Power, author of “Stranger Danger,” is another former police officer. Her recommendation is that parents should role-play certain scenarios with their children, playing through scenes that display actions your child should take in certain situations.
What if a stranger says they know your parents?
What should you do if a stranger offers you something in exchange for following them?
It may seem obvious that you should say ‘No’, but that may not be entirely clear to a child who is somewhat over trusting.
This is a great way to give your child direct examples of what they should and should not do in certain potentially dangerous situations. More examples of role-playing that will help your child remain safe can be found here.
Integrate Safety Into Your Child’s Education
Homework and schoolwork don’t have to be the only way your children can learn. During your own time with your children, it helps to teach them courses of action they can take in certain scenarios.
If they’re lost, where can they go to make sure that they stay safe? What should they do if someone comes to the door while they are home alone? Whatever safety tip pops into your head, it never hurts to make sure your child knows it as well.
Teach Your Child To Recite Important Information
This works with anything that might help identify them. Name, address, telephone number, anything they can tell a trusted adult in the case of an emergency.
Agree On A Code Word
If you need somebody else to pick up your child on occasion, it may be worth teaching your child a code word. The party picking the child up must know this word before the child will join them to ensure that they don’t get into the wrong car.
Never Leave Your Child Unattended In Public
Always stay aware of where your child is. Children like to wander. However, you never know where they could run off to or who they could run off with.
Don’t Teach Them To Fear The Police
Don’t use the police as a threat for when they are being bad. Don’t say things like “if you don’t eat your vegetables, the police will come to get you”. Even if it seems like a joke in your head, this may be very real in the mind of a child. This could cause them to be cautious around police. Furthermore, it may make them avoid officers when they are lost, or there is an emergency. That is the opposite of what you want.
Prevent Children From Wandering Away From Home
As mentioned before, children should not be left unattended in a public place, and the outdoors is very public. You know the people inside of your house and it is a controlled environment. Use an outdoor or indoor baby gate to ensure your toddlers don’t wander out the door. If your child wanders outside unattended, you never know what could happen to them.
Keep A Current Photo And Video Of Your Kid
Make sure to keep clear photos and videos of your child. Keep track of his or her weight and height. This will all be vital information in case he or she gets lost. Make sure to remember what your child is wearing on any given day. These little facts can be the difference between somebody recognizing them or not.
Making Sure Your Child Is Safe
At the end of the day, that is the main priority. It’s important to make sure that your child grows up in a safe environment. However, don’t have them constantly looking in the shadows for the evils that may lurk behind every door. There’s some bad in the world, but there’s a lot of good in it too. It’s your child’s job to see the good, and it’s your job to protect them from the bad. Follow these tips. Teaching your child what to look for in order to stay out of harm’s way. These actions will definitely help you keep your child safe from any harm that may befall them.