When going to the bus, car, or walking home at the end of the day, it is important to make your child aware of the precautions they should take to keep themselves safe. It is too often that children are put in dangerous situations because they don’t know the proper actions to take when faced with them. A statistic I personally find shocking is, 76% of children are abducted by relatives or acquaintances that they likely just assume has permission to take them. A child needs to be aware of whom they should trust and how to get out of a situation in which they don’t feel comfortable.
Explain to them who strangers are. It is important your child understands that even if someone is being friendly or seems like they are trustworthy, this may not always be the case. Be sure you child knows to be hesitant about anyone they do not know. Tell them that they should never get in a car or go with someone they don’t trust. They should not be fearful of people, but rather aware of their surroundings.
Tell them to stick with a friend at the end of the day. If your child walks home, make sure they have a friend or a few that they are consistently walking home with. It’s much safer to be in a group than alone. When they are out by the car line be sure they are surrounded by other peers.
Remind your child to always let an adult know where they will be. It is important, especially at school, that someone knows where they are and how they are getting home. With today’s technology, it is becoming easier to make sure who is allowed to pick up your child and who is not. Knowing whom they are with is crucial to knowing where they will be and that they will be getting home safely.
If your child feels like they are being threatened, instruct them to make as much noise as possible. Many times, children are accustomed to being quiet in public. It is important that they know that if they are in a dangerous situation they should be loud so others can hear them and realize that something is wrong.
Have a safe place they know they can go if feeling scared. This way if your child is near a “safe zone” they can quickly go there for help. This could be a police/fire station, neighbor’s house, a library, or a family member’s house. By giving your child more options and instructions they will be able to make better and faster decisions on what to do in an unsafe situation.
Overall, spreading an awareness of safety is one of the most important things you can do for your child. They are guaranteed to be safer when they know what to do in a bad situation.