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Child Safety Tips

It is very important that children are taught to handle situations that they may encounter whether at home, school, walking down the street or on the telephone. The following are some general safety guidelines that parents should discuss with their children in order to help ensure their safety.

Safety Rules While at Home

  • Always keep doors locked when children are home alone.
  • Make sure that children know where a hidden key to the house is. Make sure that it is located in a discreet place, and that your children do not tell people where the key is.
  • Tell your children if they notice something strange at the house like an open window or door not to go inside. Tell them to go to a neighbor’s house for help.
  • If your children are home alone and they see a stranger on the property instruct them to call the police.
  • Keep emergency phone numbers in plain view near the telephone so your children always know where they are.

Telephone Safety Rules

  • When answering the telephone children should never give the caller his or her name.
  • Children should never give the caller their address, unless they are calling 911 in the case of an emergency.
  • Children should never tell the caller that their parents are not home. Instead instruct your children to tell people that their parents are busy as opposed to not home.
  • If your children are unsure what to do, they should hang up the phone.

Stranger Safety Rules

  • Never get close to a car with a stranger in it.
  • Never take anything from a stranger. For example candy, money or toys.
  • If a car starts to follow you, run in the opposite direction, and make loud noises to attract attention to yourself.
  • Tell your children to always walk or play in groups. Predators typically target children that are alone as opposed to in a group.
  • Always know where your children are going.
  • Reiterate to your children that a stranger is any person that they do not know. Be sure to explain to them that store clerks, police officers, teachers, mail carriers and mothers with children are typically considered safe strangers if they need help.
  • Teach your children about how predators typically lure children. Some examples of the lures they commonly use are looking for a lost pet, or looking for directions.

Bicycle Safety Tips

  • Always wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet when riding.
  • Always ride so that drivers and other people can see you.
  • Wear bright colored clothing so you are more visible to other vehicle and pedestrians.
  • Do not ride your bicycle at night.
  • Always ride behind one another and against the flow of traffic so other vehicles can see you.
  • If possible stay in bike lanes, on sidewalks or on bike trails.
  • Always try and ride with someone else as opposed to alone.
  • Parents, make sure that your children’s bicycles are operating properly. For example make sure that the tires are properly inflated and the brakes are operating properly.

Safety Tips for Parents

The following tips are things that parents are encouraged to do to help ensure the safety of your children.

  • Take photographs of your children two to three times a year including profile shots.
  • Never leave your child unattended.
  • Make sure that your children check in with you regularly when they are with someone else.
  • Make sure that your children know their address and phone number at a young age.
  • Have your children fingerprinted. Free safety kits are available through the Polly Klaas Foundation which includes a do-it-yourself fingerprint and DNA documentation.
  • Keep a written record of any birthmarks, scars or identifying features that your children have.
  • Keep a growth chart of your child so that you know his/her height and weight.

For further information pertaining to child safety rules please visit www.helpkeepkidssafe.org or the Polly Klaas Foundation at www.pollyklaas.org