Gloucestercitynews.net (October 13, 2019)--Protecting your children from dangerous situations is a top priority for parents. The good news is that there are many simple ways to teach children how to stay safe. In addition to what experts call "the basics" of safety for kids are several key things parents can do to make sure children stay as safe as possible when mom and dad aren't around. What are the basic ways that adults can protect their youngsters from the criminal element in society? Here are key pointers from experts on the subject:
Transmit the Safety Basics
Safety experts refer to a basic list of things all children should know in order to enhance general safety. For example, even very young children should understand never to accept gifts or rides from someone they don't know. They should know how to say their full names and phone numbers when they get lost. Teach children to go to a planned "safe place" in the neighborhood if there's a fire or catastrophe near their own home. Show them how to identify "safe people" like police officers, fire fighters and family friends. Clearly explain to kids that there are certain places they should never go, and specific geographic boundaries they are not to cross when playing outdoors.
Avoid Speaking About Family Finances
Young children don't always know what should and should not be talked about. Teach them never to speak about family finances, how much anyone earns, where emergency cash is stored or where valuables are located in the house. The best preventative measure is to simply not inform kids about these topics until they are older. But little ones often overhear sensitive discussions and find things out on their own. That's why it's important to explain to them to stay mum on topics like salaries, location of jewelry or whether the family has recently received a life insurance settlement.
Beyond the Basics
For older children, a few essential principles can mean a lot when it comes to safety. Teach them to always use a "buddy system" when in public places or areas that seem the least bit unsafe. Make sure kids of all ages understand that it is completely acceptable to scream "Help!" at the top of their lungs without fear of embarrassment. Teach them to follow up that yell by running to the nearest safe space, which can include a retail store of "safe" neighbor's house if necessary.
Explain in a sensitive way that it's always okay to come to mom or dad if someone is bullying them or making them feel bad. Be certain to leave the lines of communication open between you and your children by telling them that you'll never blame them for what someone else does to them or says to them. Children of all ages should know to check in with one or both parents if they will late coming home from school or are stranded somewhere without a ride. It should also become a habit for children to contact at least one parent after arriving home from school.
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