Going Beyond Stranger Danger…
From the second our kids are born until well into their adulthood (and sometimes even after that) parents will worry about their safety. You know that familiar feeling in the pit of your stomach, the one that sends your “parent senses” in a frenzy telling you to check in with your kids? That overwhelming sense that they are somewhere without you so they are probably getting into trouble. Here are some tips to help you soothe that tingle.
- Creating a secret “password”. The number one tip I can give you is to create a password when your kids are old enough to start walking places by themselves. Set a different one for each child, and make sure they have it memorized. That way if you ever send someone else to pick up the child, they will only get in the car with someone who knows the password. Kids can be so gullible and strangers will prey on that quality. Creating a password allows them to differentiate between strangers and friends of the family.
- Talk to them!!! I cannot stress this point enough. Don’t just assume your child is too young to understand. Always talk to them about expectations and even a little about the dangers they could face. The worst feeling is having an under prepared child. Have regular family meetings with them about what to expect, and what YOU expect out of them. here are some great talking points
- Run in the opposite direction if someone is following them
- Look for other kids to talk to, or an adult with other kids.
- Teach them that screaming is okay if you are in danger. The louder the better
- Getting internet safe. Another danger zone for kids is the internet. Make sure you talk to your local internet provider about how to create age appropriate blocks on the computer. Talk to your kids about the dangers of the internet. Show them how to sense danger when talking to a stranger on the internet. Don’t snoop through your kids computer, though. Build a sense of trust, that way they can learn how to monitor themselves.
- “Temporary Tattoos” When going to large events such as a birthday party in the park, amusement parks, even when traveling to a new city, this great trick can help save your child’s life. Take a pen and write “if lost please call XXXXXXXXXX” Then cover it with a liquid called SKIN SHIELD. It’s a liquid bandage that will cover it so it doesn’t get washed off. Talk to your child about what to do if they are lost. Look for the nearest ADULT WITH OTHER KIDS. Don’t just say adult because this could lead them to danger. The best bet is to show them what a police officer looks like and have them find one. Then have them show the adult the number on their arm to call you.
- Throw out anything personalized The easiest way for a stranger to trick a child is by making themselves feel familiar. If they know the child’s name, then they must be safe right? Forget about all those personalized lunchboxes and backpacks. Stick with generic and always teach your kids the password!
There is a lot more ideas that you can use for child safety. Have a great tip that I didn’t cover? Comment or email me! I’ll be sure to add it!