Child safety tips for parents

Very use full for especially over the Festive Period….

– Children must know their full names, age, home telephone number and address. Children must know how to contact their parents, the police or another close relative in an emergency.

– When children are alone at home and an unfamiliar person calls, they should say you are home, but you are too busy to take the call.

– Teach your children to end any telephone call with a stranger quickly.

– Teach your children to avoid opening the door for strangers. If a stranger is at the door, teach your children to tell the stranger you are busy and he/she should come back later

– If the child feels threatened, teach him/her to phone an emergency number. Emergency numbers could be your telephone number at work, that of the police or a trusted neighbour who will be at home.

– If at all possible, children should play and walk with other children.

– Children should always ask your permission before accepting gifts from strangers.

– Children should be taught to avoid unsupervised play areas, empty lots, abandoned buildings and bushy areas at parks or riverbeds.

– Children should run home from places such as school or a friend’s house if they feel they are being followed.

– Children must know that adults, especially strangers, rarely ask children for help to find things or for directions. Explain to your child that men and women are strangers.

– Children must know if they become separated from their parents in a store or shopping mall, they must go to a store employee or cashier for help immediately.

– Parents must know where their children are at all times; know their children’s friends and be clear about places and homes they may visit.

– Never leave children unattended in a vehicle, whether it is running or not.

– Pay attention if your children tell you they do not want to be or go somewhere with someone.

– Take note when anyone shows your child a great deal of attention or starts giving gifts. Ask your child about the person and find out why that person is behaving that way.

– Teach your children they have the right to reject any unwelcome, uncomfortable or confusing actions by others. If they cannot leave, children should be taught to kick, scream and resist by yelling loudly, “This person is not my father/mother/guardian.” and then immediately tell you what happened.

– Be sensitive to any changes in your child’s behaviour or attitude. Encourage open communication and learn how to be an active listener. If your child tells you about problems, try to stay calm; be reassuring and non-judgemental. Work with the child to get help to resolve the problem.

– Practise basic safety skills with your children.

– Do not let your children wear clothing or carry items that bear their name in public. It makes it too easy for a stranger to approach them.

– Develop code words with your children to use in an emergency teach them that only people who understand them have authority from you, for example – someone who comes to pick them up from school must use the code to show that you sent that person. Teach them to respect the codes and never share them with friends.’