As parents, it is imperative we keep our children safe. From making changes around our home to teaching them about road safety, our instinct is to protect our kids from possible harm. We worry about our children, and this is the natural instinct of a parent.
Stranger danger has become more prevalent in recent years. As our kids spend more time online, through social media and video games, we never know who our children are speaking to. It’s sad to say, but some adults want to hurt our kids, and they exist online and outside on our streets. So what can we do about it? Read on for some valuable advice.
Talk to your kids
You don’t want to wrap your kids in cotton wool, but you should make them aware of the possible dangers strangers present. By nature, kids are trusting of adults, but there are some golden rules they need to know, no matter how friendly the stranger appears. These are:
– Don’t accept sweets from strangers.
– Never accept a ride in a stranger’s car.
– Don’t go anywhere alone with a stranger.
– Stay with friends when playing outdoors.
– Tell a trusted adult, such as a parent or teacher, if you have been approached by a stranger.
Should the unthinkable happen, and your child is approached, then these rules should apply.
– Make as much noise as you can, scream and shout for help.
– Run towards a place where there are lots of adults, such as a shop.
– Head for home or a safe place immediately.
It is important your children know strangers can be man or woman, and of any age. Explain to your children at an early age and the more aware they will become.
Outside the home
When your kids are playing away from home, make sure you know where they are going. Arrange a time for them to be home, and pick them up if necessary. If they are old enough, give them a mobile phone. This way, they can easily contact the police if they need to, and you have an extra point of contact with them. A personal alarm is also a good idea, as this will raise a noise should your child be in danger.
Safety at home
In theory, our children are safe at home, but we should still take preventative measures. When indoors, install secure alarm systems, and ensure doors and windows are locked at night. For the outdoors, ensure the perimeter is safe and secure, with no gaps in the fence for young children to crawl through.
When it comes to online safety, teach your children the SMART rules. Listen in on conversations discreetly, and keep an eye on their use of social media. You don’t want to be a snoop, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
We don’t want to be alarmist, and child abductions are rare. However, for your peace of mind, and for the safety of your kids, do all you can to ensure their safety. Communication is key, so let them know they can always come to you if they have any worries.