How To Safeguard Your Children
Source: Florida Attorney General's Office
- Teach them to never talk to strangers.
- Teach them never to ride their bikes alone; always ride with a buddy and always wear their helmet.
- Teach them to never play in the street.
- Teach them to always look both ways and watch for cars before entering or crossing the street.
- Establish neighborhood boundaries in which they may play.
- Teach them to never open the door to a stranger when home alone.
- Teach them that, when answering the telephone, never give out any personal information or let the person who calls know if they are alone.
- Teach them to be sure to let their parents know exactly where they will be and for how long, and to always call and let them know if they decide to go somewhere else.
- If they should see a gun, teach them to stop, don't touch, call an adult.
- Teach them to never get into a car with someone they don't know.
- If they feel threatened, teach them to run away as fast as they can.
- Develop a secret password that must be used if someone unfamiliar is to pick them up from school or play.
- If they come home and something about their house doesn't look right, teach them to go immediately to a neighbor's for help.
- Teach them that 911 should be used only in emergencies.
- Teach your child to walk confidently and stay alert to where they are and what is going on around them.
- Teach your child to notice and report, strangers who hang around playgrounds, public restrooms and empty buildings.
- Teach your children that most people are good, but bad people do exist.
- Children should understand that appearance or demeanor cannot determine whether a person is good or bad. People are not always as they seem.
- Teach your children they have the right to say “NO” to anyone, even to an adult they know, who touches them inappropriately. They must yell “NO” Get away”, and tell a grownup safety friend.
- Make it your business to know your child’s friends and their parents.
- Review possible abduction “scenarios” with your child on a regular basis.
- Avoid shortcuts through empty parks, fields, laneways, alleys or behind buildings.
- Avoid clothing with your child’s name on it.
- Always accompany young children to the bathroom in public places.
- Review with your child what an emergency is and the types of emergencies that can occur.
- Keep an up to date photograph of your child with a current record of height, weight and any prominent scars or marks and location on the body. Also keep a strand of the child's hair or fingernail clipping for DNA testing and identification purposes.
- "Latch Key" children should be trained on what to do in case of an emergency (ie. fire, serious injury, stranger trying to enter home, etc.). The most important thing is to not panic.
- Teach children to yell the word "fire" over and over if someone is trying to abduct them. The word "fire" is an attention getter and normally most people will stop what they are doing to see where the fire is.
- Secure all firearms that are in the home. Use some type of gun safety lock and keep the weapon and ammunition stored separately when not being used.
- Your child must understand that grownups ask other grownups for help - not kids!
- If your child is being bullied at school, teach them to report it to a school official. Tell them that it is unacceptable to be threatened while at school.
- If your child walks to school, try to have them walk in a group with other children that they are familiar with. Also, instruct them to stay on a main sidewalk or route home. Tell them that some "shortcuts" may be dangerous.
- Monitor your child's activities on the Internet. Learn who they "chat" with and what they talk about. There are sexual predators who use the internet to attract their victims.
- When utilizing a babysitter, make sure that you leave specific emergency contact information so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency. Also, leave a list of any type of allergic or pre-existing medical conditions that your child might have.
Links to Child Safety Web sites