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Keeping Our Children Safe

Lately there have been many reports on the news of missing children and adults. It breaks our hearts to see innocent children who are taken advantage of. No child should have to suffer trauma like kidnapping or physical harm ever.

In a day and age where children are more are more into looking down their phones and iPads than paying attention to their surroundings, it is more crucial now to inform our children of safety.

Here are some tips for parents on keeping your children safe:

Be Alert: Over 50% of the children kidnapped in non-family abductions were taken from the street, in a vehicle, or from a park or wooded area.

How To Talk To Your Child

Who?

You

  • A parent is the best person to teach a child about personal safety.

What?

Effective personal safety skills

  • Smart Thinking
  • Strong Character
  • Sticking Together

How?

LISTEN to your children

  • Know your children’s daily activities and habits.
  • Listen to what they like and what they don’t like.
  • Encourage open communication. Let your children know they can talk to you about any situation.
  • Reassure your children that their safety is your #1 concern.

TEACH your children

  • Set boundaries about places they may go, people they may see, and things they may do.
  • Reinforce the importance of the “buddy system.”
  • It’s OK to say NO—tell your children to trust their instincts.

Get INVOLVED

  • Know where your children are at all times.
  • Your children should check in with you if there is a change in plans.
  • There is no substitute for your attention and supervision.

PRACTICE safety skills with your child

  • Rehearse safety skills so that they become second nature.

What You Can Do To Help Your Child

Safety at Home

  • Children should know their full name, home phone number and how to use the telephone. Post your contact information where your children will see it: office phone number, cell phone, pager, etc.
  • Children should have a trusted adult to call if they’re scared or have an emergency.
  • Choose babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends, and neighbors. Once you have chosen the caregiver, drop in unexpectedly to see how your children are doing. Ask your children how the experience with the caregiver was, and listen carefully to their responses.

Safety in the Neighborhood

  • Make a list with your children of their neighborhood boundaries, choosing significant landmarks.
  • Interact regularly with your neighbors. Tell your children whose homes they are allowed to visit.
  • Don’t drop your children off alone at malls, movie theatres, video arcades, or parks.
  • Teach your children that adults should not approach children for help or directions. Tell your children that if they are approached by an adult, they should stay alert because this may be a “trick.”
  • Never leave children unattended in an automobile. Children should never hitchhike or approach a car when they don’t know and trust the driver.
  • Children should never go anywhere with anyone without getting your permission first.

Safety at School

  • Be careful when you put your child’s name on clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes or bicycle license plates. If a child’s name is visible, it may put them on a “first name” basis with an abductor.
  • Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help. Make a map with your children showing acceptable routes to school, using main roads and avoiding shortcuts or isolated areas. If your children take a bus, visit the bus stop with them and make sure they know which bus to take.

Safety on Social Media

  • Monitor computer time and social time on cell phones and tablets.
  • At night, put all cell phones and tablets in an office, room or with you as a parent. This will prevent any late night interactions with someone inappropriate.
  • Have your children’s passwords. This way you can check up on who is their friend on social media. Check for questionable behavior or profiles and teach your children warning signals when appropriate or necessary.

 

Hopefully these tips help! Let’s keep our children safe!

 

Tips and Suggestions taken from: PERSONAL SAFETY FOR CHILDREN—A GUIDE FOR PARENTS

 

In an Emergency or if you have information about a missing or exploited child:

Call 911 and notify your local police
Call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)

To report information about child pornography, child molestation, child prostitution,
and the online enticement of children:

Log on to NCMEC’s CyberTipline at:
www.cybertipline.com

 

 

The following websites provide additional information about protecting children from abduction and exploitation:
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Department of Justice
OJJDP Publications—Child Protection
http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs/missing.html
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
http://www.missingkids.com
NCMEC’s website to teach children about dangers on the Internet
http://www.netsmartz.org
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Against Children Program webpage
http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/cac/crimesmain.htm
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Tip and Public Leads webpage
https://www.ifccfbi.gov/complaint/terrorist.asp
McGruff the Crime Dog
Information for child safety, identification, abduction,
fingerprinting, and crime prevention
http://mcgruff-safe-kids.com/

 


Keeping Children Calm During the Storm

Within the past few months, the U.S. has been battered by floods, storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, wiping out hundreds of lives, homes, property, and just America’s general peace of mind. Children become as afraid and stressed as adults during these times. How do we talk to them about natural disasters and other situations they can’t control? The article below appeared in the Orlando Sentinel in 2009, but still has a few good tips on how to calm our children.

How to keep kids calm despite storms

May 31, 2009

Surviving nature’s fury can be stressful for adults and children alike.

But experts say good preparation can get families through it, starting well before a hurricane approaches. Keeping calm and busy is essential during a storm. And talking with kids afterward will help them cope with any fears or bad memories.

Families should put together a disaster kit ahead of a hurricane with flashlights, medical supplies, water and other items. Children can create their own activity survival kit with items they might need to stay busy or to make them feel safe.

Because a hurricane can knock out power for days, items should include some of the child’s favorite books and board games. Crafts are a good way to spend time, so include scissors, crayons, markers, and paper.

Children also should pack their favorite blankets, pillows or stuffed animals to give kids a sense of security.

The kits also should include pictures of the family and pets. They can be assembled in a backpack or duffel bag — preferably one that a child can carry.

Video games and other electronic toys may become useless without power. But some hand-held video games run on batteries, so keep a good supply available.

During preparations before a storm, you may ask children to help out so they can feel involved and in charge of sometimes scary situations. Have them put together snack bags for the family, check batteries in their games and other devices, occupy younger children, or some other duties.

Talk with children or provide them with age-appropriate books and reading materials to help them learn about hurricanes, satisfy their curiosity, or quell fears. Parents should be ready to talk with children about their concerns.

Try to keep children busy during the storm. Don’t watch too much television-news coverage of the storm damage.

If you have to evacuate, talk to children about keeping the family safe and how a home and other possessions can be replaced. Do not bring expensive video games or toys to a shelter — they can be lost or stolen.

After the hurricane passes, try to keep children from going outside until you know it is safe from downed power lines and storm debris that can injure them. After leaving a shelter, talk to young ones about how the home and neighborhood may be damaged to prepare them for the tremendous change.

Some say parents should try to restore normal family routines — meals, family, playtimes — as soon as possible to show the situation is under control. Watch for signs of stress with children such as nightmares and persistent fears of weather, loud noises, or being left alone.

  International Nanny Association


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