Child Safety and Personal Security
One of the great qualities of children is also a cause for concern for parents and loved ones. Children tend to develop a natural trust for others, especially adults. As a parent it can be difficult to balance their trust and personal safety. Kids are dependent on us for protection and to teach them how to handle dangerous situations. Unfortunately, we live in a society where certain individuals prey on our youth. These predators present a very real danger. Child predators wait for an opportunity to exploit children. This exploitation can result in kidnapping, molestation or even murder. The U.S. Department of Justice, puts out annual statistics on crimes committed against children. Below are real statistics that should serve as a "wake up call" to every parent or guardian of a child under 18. Nearly 800,000 children under the age of 18 are reported missing each year. That is an average of 2,185 missing children reported each day. Over 200,000 children are the victims of family abductions, while nearly 60,000 are victims of non-family abductions. It takes almost no time; you become distracted for a short while and they could be gone. A baby snatched from the mall parking lot, while the mother was putting the older sister into the car. Toddler is taken from a park. Youth reported missing after wandering away from father at a department store. Young girl abducted from her neighborhood by sexual predator. These are just a few examples of how it could happen. Here are some personal security tips to teach your children. Never Walk Alone: Children should never be allowed to walk alone. Parental supervision can help prevent disaster. Get to know your neighbors and other parents. Consider putting together a calendar to ensure that at least one adult is watching the kids at all times. School bus stops are one of the favorite places that child predators frequent. Teach kids to utilize the "buddy system" with groups of at least three being ideal. Scream: Your children should know that in an emergency, they should scream at the top of their lungs for help. The louder the better. Yelling "FIRE" or "HELP ME" will get the needed attention. May I Visit: Child predators often attempt to get a victim go in a car or into a house with to promise of gifts, food and/or candy. Teach your kids to never go anywhere if a stranger. A stranger should be defined as someone that parents have not "approved" Guard: Consider investing in a perimeter fence to for safety and personal security. In addition, many large dog breeds can make excellent watch dogs. Both are excellent deterrents and make abductions more difficult. Get involved: Should you suspect a crime is taking place, get involved; don't sit back and watch. They need you to get involved. You can help by recording the license plate number and recording a good description. Call 911 for help right away. Fight Back: Learn to defend yourself, while teaching your child self defense to keep them safe and secure. Children should be taught and even encouraged to fight back should someone grab you. Run: If you can get to safety, run there and stay put until help arrives. Teach Children to:
- Use the telephone properly in case of emergencies and practice
- Memorize their name, address (including city and state), and phone number (including area code), and your work number.
- Walk confidently and stay alert to what’s going on around them.
- Know where to go to in an emergency. Tell a trusted adult immediately if anyone, even a teacher or close relative, touches or speaks to them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.