CHILD WATCH (continued)
Kids spend a good part of their lives at school, in the classroom, and on the playground. Strangers who want to hurt them know this too. Find out what your child’s school policy is for children leaving school with adults other than the parent or guardian.
TEACHING CHILDREN HOW TO RESPOND
How children respond to trouble depends upon their age and the particular circumstances they encounter. More important, however, is whether a child knows what to do and where to go when feeling threatened. While it is important for a child to know how to avoid and spot danger, it is also critical that a child knows how to respond quickly and wisely when confronted with trouble. Children should understand that there are many people they can depend on and should turn to when they feel unsafe. Teach children that the police are their friends whose job is to protect them. If a police officer can’t be located easily, a child should also know to run or seek out a trusted teacher, a neighbor, or a friend’s parent when frightened or feeling endangered. Children should know that they should report trouble RIGHT AWAY. Teach children how to operate the telephone to call for emergency assistance. They should memorize their area code and phone number, and a friend’s number as well. Be sure they memorize your work number and give this number to a trusted neighbor.
This is a term that’s often used to describe children who must stay at home alone taking care of themselves for some part of the day. Always, they’re the parent’s worry. Experts estimate that from 5 to 12 million children between the ages of 5 and 13 are at home alone for some period of time every day. In many cases, their parents either cannot afford child care, or none is available.
PROMOTING SELF-CARE SKILLS
1) Parents should focus on setting rules and limits, increasing levels of responsibility, and communicating basic safety information.
2) Discuss family policies on entertaining and visiting friends and what to do when the phone or doorbell rings.
3) Make sure they know never to go into anyone else’s home without your permission.
4) Have children – teens too – check in with you at work or with a neighbor when they come home from school.
5) Teach your children never to go into your home if a door is ajar or a window is broken.
6) They should also know how to work your home’s door and window locks and to lock them when they are home alone.
7) If you and your spouse are not living together, make sure your children know exactly the days they are supposed to be with each parent, and that they ALWAYS have a right to call you from wherever they are.
8) Stress that they should always tell you if something happened while they were away from you that made them feel uncomfortable in any way.
NEXT WEEK – HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS