Raising Child Safety Awareness
– As parents we don’t want to think about bad things that could happen to our children but we also must be aware that there is evil in our world. My husband signed us up on the Florida Offender Alert website which will alert you of any sexual predators that have moved in to your neighborhood. It is also a good idea to sign up for your child’s daycare or school.
- Don’t put your children’s names on backpacks, shirts or school lunches. You don’t want a predator to call your child by name.
- Have your children fingerprinted. Many community fairs and local police stations sponsor this service. This document and a recent photograph of your child are very useful when tracking and identifying a missing child.
- Have a family code word. It could be a pet’s name or favorite color. If your child is lost or waiting for you, and a stranger approaches saying, “Your mom had an emergency and asked for me to take you home,” have your child ask for the code word. If the stranger doesn’t know it, he/she is to scream and run for help.
- Role-play with your child. “Role-playing specific, dangerous situations and how to handle them will help your child become more assertive when they need to take action for their safety,” says Sherry Warschaw, M.A., a family therapist in Encino, Calif. Pretend you are a stranger asking for help in finding a lost pet, directions or offering candy. Tell your child to scream, attract attention and run to a trusted adult for help. Then have your child play the stranger role and show them how you would react.
- Stress to your children to always check with a parent or caretaker before getting into any car, even if it belongs to someone they know. Be sure they tell you where they are going, with whom and when they will be back home.
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