Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Summer is almost here! Learn a few child safety and abduction prevention tips, simple ways to protect and educate your children.

* Make sure you child knows his/her complete name, address and telephone number with area code. It seems like a lot to remember, but this is one of the most important child safety tips.

* Show your child how to dial 911. Most cities send the police whether or not a request is made, so let your child know this is for emergency only and not a game.

* Establish a code word for situations which the child is to be picked up by someone other than a parent or regular caregiver. Predators have tricked kids into telling their code word so remind your child never to reveal it to someone who does not know the code word.

* Teach your child that if it feels weird it probably is, and regularly remind them they can talk to you about anything.

* Don't lose sight of your child in public places, especially when very crowded.

* Remind your child, if they become lost, to find a store clerk or police officer and wait with that person until you or the police arrive. They should not go with someone who offers to take them to their parent unless it is a uniformed officer.

* Your child should know to never approach a car for any reason unless you have given them permission.

* Don't forget child predators look like regular folks, so anyone you don't know is a stranger.

* If you must leave your child at home alone, remind them to never open the door for anyone that you have not approved. If someone calls the house, teach your child to say that their parents is not available, or will call them back in a few minutes... a child must never tell someone over the phone that they are home alone.

* Teach your child to always walk with someone. A buddy system works well for children who walk to school or playgrounds.

* If your child find themselves in a dangerous situation, tell them they should yell for help ("This is not my mom or dad") and run to a store or house of someone they trust. The child should know never to run into an uninhabited area.

* Don't put name tags on the outside of your children's clothing, books, bags, etc. A predator will use this to his/her advantage to lure your child.

* Keep an up-to-date color photograph of your child, a medical and dental history, and have your child fingerprinted (this service is often offered free at your local police dept.)

* Remember, abductions are done by both strangers, and by family member or family friends the child may know. Talk to your child about this, and share your child's life... meet his/her friends and parents, get involved with after school sports or activities. Be a role model to your kids. It is important for families to talk about safety. There are many good resources out there, so let's keep our kids safe!

* Know where your older children are. Teach them to call you if their plans change.

* Never say you are alone if you answer the phone: you can offer to take a message of say your parents will phone back.

* Never answer the door if you are home alone.

* Tell someone (your parents or older sibling) where you will be at. Call your parents if your plans change.

* No one should play in deserted buildings or isolated areas.

* You should scream and scatter books and belonging if they are forced towards a building or car by someone who tries to abduct them.

* Always move away from a car that pulls up beside you if you do not know the driver.

* If you get lost in a store or mall, go to the nearest cashier or security officer and tell them you are lost.

* Have your parents teach you to recognize suspicious behavior and how to remember a description of the person or vehicle to give to their parents or police. Write the plate number in the dirt or snow if no paper is available.

* It is okay to say 'no' to an adult or older kid, if the person wants you to do something your parents say is wrong or you know feels wrong.

* Your parents will want to know if someone as asked you to keep a secret from them. It's okay to tell your parents, your teacher, or a police officer about anyone who exposes their private parts or tries to touch yours. Also, if your city has the McGruff program, look for a utility truck with the bumper sticker. Ask your parents to visit the McGruff web site at
McGruff Homepage or

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