It is the responsibility of everyone to keep children safe. We need to be aware of all the possible dangers to our own children, as well as others. As parents and guardians, we all like to think we have eyes in the back of our heads, but we don’t. Be involved even when they are someone else’s children. We have all heard the expression that it takes a village to raise a child; it also takes a village to keep a child safe.
Here are some tips to keep all children safe:
- Never leave a child unattended in a car under any circumstances. If you see a child that is unattended, call 911.
- Place something that you will need in the backseat so when you reach your next stop, you will be aware of a sleeping child in the backseat, and won’t risk leaving them in the car.
- When you are travelling with more than one child, do a regular head count. It sounds silly, but think about being busy with several children. It could be easy to lose track of a child.
- Be especially careful with children that need to be dropped off at school and daycare. Make arrangements with the school and daycare so that if the child is late for any reason, you receive a phone call.
- Teach your children to yell, “This is not my mother/father/guardian, this person is trying to take me!” if someone they don’t know is trying to lead them away.
- If you hear a child trying to get away from someone, please step in and speak up. I would rather let the police resolve it than risk a child being kidnapped.
- Teach your children as young as possible to be able to recite their phone number and how to dial 911.
- Make sure that your network of caretakers has a system of code words to use with your child so that way if someone they are not expecting tries to pick them up they know the code to use.
- Provide a list of appropriate people to whom your child can be released from school. Provide an emergency number that can be called to confirm if the child is uneasy in any way.
- Teach children to stay calm if they are separated from their parents. Tell them to find a store clerk, a security guard, or police officer.
- Try to organize a safe house network for the neighborhood children that a child can go to if they are out playing or are going to and from school, and feel threatened.
In closing, being aware and using common sense is still the best way to keep everyone safe.
By: Jim Doyle, owner of Madison Security Group Jim Doyle is still on the mend, so this week’s column is courtesy of ARA Content.