PROTECTING YOUR CHILD
It has been said that children are our most valuable resource. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we take positive measures to insure their safety and prevent them from becoming victims of crime.
- Never leave children alone; not at home, in a vehicle, at play, or anywhere.
- Define what a STRANGER is. Let your kids know that just because they see someone everyday (e.g. mailman, paperboy, neighbor, etc.) it does not mean these people are not strangers.
- Teach your children their full name, your name, full address, and phone number, including area codes. Teach them how to use a phone.
- Teach your children the "What if...?" Game, making up different dangerous situations that they might encounter and helping them play out what they would do in that situation.
- Take the time to talk to your children and be alert to any noticeable changes in their behavior or attitude toward an adult or teenager; it may be a sign of sexual abuse.
- Set up procedures with your child's school or day care center as to whom the child will be released to other than yourself, and what notification procedure they are to follow if the child does not show up on time.
- Teach your children that their body is private and no one has the right to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. If anyone touches them in a wrong way they should: SAY NO, GET AWAY, and TELL SOMEONE they trust.
Working parents - and that's the majority of American families today- share the anxiety, frustration, and even fear involved in leaving children "on their own" when school lets out, childcare arrangements with neighbors and relatives break down, or there simply are not any alternatives.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Make sure your children are ready to care for themselves.
- Teach them basic safety rules.
- Know where your kids are, what they are doing, and who they are with.
ARE THEY READY? CAN YOUR CHILDREN…
- Be trusted to go straight home after school?
- Easily use the telephone, locks, and kitchen appliances?
- Follow rules and instructions well?
- Handle unexpected situations without panicking?
- Stay home alone without being afraid?
Talk it over with them, and listen to their worries and ideas. Work out rules on having friends over, household chores, homework, and television. Remember, staying at home alone can build a child's self esteem, sense of responsibility, and practical skills.
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