It’s a good time for parents to remind children about personal safety. Here’s what children need to know:
- Their name, age, telephone number, address, city and province. This can be done through rhyme or song.
- How to contact their parents at any time, by memorizing cell or work numbers.
- How and under what circumstances to call 911.
- To never approach or enter a stranger’s vehicle. A responsible adult would never ask a child for directions or any other question for that matter.
- Make sure they know they have a right to say “no” to an adult, especially when the adult is asking them to do something they have been taught is wrong or feels uncomfortable. Reminding children of this right is important because children are taught from a young age to respect adults.
- To always tell parents where they will be and to never enter someone’s home without their parent’s permission.
- If home alone, never admit it when answering the phone. Never answer a knock at the door or speak through it. Adults can be very persuasive. Teach your child to call you if there is a knock at the door and if they fear for their safety, teach them to call 911. Make sure they know that police officers are there to help them and would not get mad if it were a false alarm.
- If they think they are being followed or are in danger they should run home or to a public place. If someone grabs them, they should try to get away, yelling and screaming while doing so.
- It is important to play in safe areas, never take shortcuts and stick with a buddy whenever possible.
It is never too early or too late to teach children the importance of personal safety. Common sense, communication and consistency are the keys. Remind children to alert a responsible adult if something strange happens that makes them feel uncomfortable. Remember, crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility.
For more information on this subject, visit www.yrp.ca.