The world can be a generally scary place for both children and parents alike. Not only do parents have justifiable concerns with regards to who their children hang out with (and are influenced by) when they aren't around, but street safety is among one skill and consideration that can have horrific negative consequences if certain cautionary steps aren't instilled at a very early age. Unfortunately, whether they are walking to their bus stop or are simply playing near a street, as children get older and older you can expect their curiosity to peak while the potential for danger only escalates.
Follow these steps, in this Info Barrel article, in order to teach your children about street safety!
Things You Will Need
- a Car (for Safe Route Surveying and identification)
- Child Identification Card (Pricing varies, dependent upon the information you would like included on your Child's card!)
- Identification Necklaces
Step 1Regardless of how young your child is when you begin to teach them about street safety, memorization of key information is absolutely imperative. Such data should include your child's first name, full address, and home telephone number. Certain situations, with the potential for harm, may warrant your child's immediate recall of this pertinent and valuable information.
You may very well find that your child has difficulty memorizing their address, dependent on their age. Even still, it is important that, if necessary, you make it a priority to continue to review this information whether at the breakfast table or when tucking your son or daughter in for bed. Knowing this information, and how to immediately recall it in a dangerous situation, could mean the difference between safety and a less than favorable outcome.
Step 2With children carrying cell phones at younger and younger ages nowadays, activating an emergency 9-1-1 call is well within their ability and right if your child needs to. If your child feels at all threatened, by a stranger, they should be taught to stay with their group of friends, run, and activate this number as soon as possible. While this is inherently made a simple number to remember for good reason, occasional reminders, in the morning and at bed time, can provide the impetus that will stimulate immediate recall if your child ever finds themselves in a dangerous situation. Emphasize to your child that this number should be activated immediately when they feel uncomfortable, or threatened, by a situation, especially one involving strangers.
Step 3With the increasing incidence of children becoming unexpectedly missing, or exploited, one cannot blame parents for being so deeply concerned that they would want to do everything within their power to ensure their child's safety. Fortunately, online retailers, like Amazon.com do offer several options for child identification cards. On these cards, you can include a picture of your child as well as, dependent on the card, up to 10 fingerprints. In order to obtain fingerprints of your child, you can oftentimes make arrangements with your local courthouse or police station.
Step 4Modern day movies have revolved integrated the susceptibility of children in their plot and storyline. Unfortunately, being alone inherently makes a situation that much more unsafe. Rather than walk alone, if at all possible, your child should stay near groups, whether large or small, of other children and common trusted adults. Strangers, with ulterior motives, will be less likely to take advantage of a child when his/her actions can be seen in full view by a host of witnesses.
Step 5If your child is approached by a stranger, ensure that your child is taught to never accept food, candy, or gifts of any sort from them. In order to serve as a lure, oftentimes, people will feed off of the general curiosity of children with an item that they know they may find irresistible. Holidays like Halloween, in which candy receipt is a normal and expected occurrence, parents should take extra caution to ensure that this receipt only occurs while they are properly supervised.
Step 6Ideally, your child shouldn't be walking very long distances from school to home on their own. Unfortunately, dependent on parent work schedules and involvement, this occurrence may be difficult to avoid. Responsible parents will want to review, with their child, routes to and from school. Included in this review should be potential safe spots and places to avoid. A Saturday morning or afternoon would make a great time and opportunity for you to drive this route with your child, and ensure that they are well aware of their alternatives if a threatening situation would happen to occur.
If at all possible, if a walk home must be done, you should seek out a partner or peer for your child to walk with, who may live nearby. While they may not accompany your child for their entire walk, having someone walk with your child, if only for a portion of their route, can significantly decrease the risk involved for both children.
Step 7Whether you are involved in a church or a community group, as a parent, you may very well have a friend of family that lives on your child's walking route. Even if your child isn't walking to or from school, but rather just playing outside, while delineating a route for your child, you should also be sure to include the nearby houses of those other parents that you know and trust. In the event of a threatening situation, you child can run to their house as a safe haven, especially if your house is much further down the road. The more quickly your child can get to safety, the more quickly any threat can be quelled.
Step 8Your child needs to be taught that making noise, in a threatening situation, is preferable. Rather than just saying "Help!", however, your child should be taught to say a word like "Fire!". When people are disattached from a situation, they may not immediately respond if they feel like their own life would be somehow jeopardized by becoming involved in a sticky situation. By using the word "Fire!", your child will be able to generate a sense of urgency, without making people feel like they are about to get involved in a very threatening situation, where a stranger could be armed, or something of that nature.
Nowadays, parents justifiably feel like they can only really trust certain people. When your child's life is at stake, following the above steps can help to give him or her the information and skills necessary to provide for help provide for their overall safety. While chances may be slim that something horrible would really happen, one cannot blame parents for doing everything they can in order to significantly limit the possibility of succumbing to whatever risk is left.