To face the painful truth the world is a much more dangerous place than most people currently raising families grew up in, and it is because of this that parents must address child safety more aggressively than ever before. This is particularly problematic when it comes to tweens and teens that have reached the point of maturity where they view every bit of parental advice with skepticism and ocassional disdain. While it is impossible to get children to follow every direction sent their way to safeguard their health and welfare, there are a few safety tips that should be driven home relentlessly in the hope that they will become automatic actions implemented in everyday life.
The first of these is to have their cell phone with them at all times and in good working order. This is perhaps the most critical component of summoning help in an emergency situation, and if your child does not have one they can be obtained inexpensively for under $40 with minutes that can be purchased and added as needed. If finances are an issue in this area for parents the afforementioned cell phone can be obtained and used only in the instance of emergencies.
The next safety tip is to instruct children to travel in groups with their friends whenever possible. There is security in numbers and those viewing tweens and teens with bad intent will likely be more dissuaded by more people present that can assist, call authorities or witness a criminal act.
While most parents teach their children to be reserved and well-behaved in a public setting, it needs to be explained that there are times when outrageous public behavior can be a life saving action. Teach youngsters that screaming and acting out wildly may draw attention when in a threatening situation and will never be punished. For this reason it is a smart decision to have a child carry a small whistle in their pocket that can be used when necessary.
The fourth safety tip is to have children adopt the mentality of "if it is to be it is up to me" when it comes to personal safety. This means that a child should ever put all of their eggs in one basket and expect a good outcome in a bad situation based on the intervention of a third party. Implement a proactive posture in your children to handle situations as they present themselves.
The fifth and final safety tip for tweens and teens is a difficult concept to explain to a young mind but it is extremely important to grasp, and that is there are times in life when it becomes perfectly acceptable to physically harm another human being in order to preserve your own life. While we collectively as a society stress nonviolence as a civilized response to the most difficult situations, when dealing with the criminal element force oftens demands a response greater in magnitude.