Safety Facts Your Children Should Be Taught

By James Shaw, The Resist Attack Foundation

It’s time to face the facts. Children today live in a world that we never could have imagined when we were young. They are just as much at risk of violent or traumatic events as adults are. As a parent, it can be difficult to accept that you cannot always protect your children from such dangers. However, it is absolutely critical to open your eyes to the modern world your children face and prepare them to thrive. Here are six safety facts that every child should know:

1. First, they are not to leave with a stranger for any reason.

No matter the circumstances, they must always check with you first. If they are unable to ask your permission to leave with that person, then the answer is always “no,” regardless of the reason provided by the stranger. Your children should be taught that strangers could be dangerous people, and should not be automatically trusted. That is why it is so important that they check with you if the stranger asks them to go somewhere.

2. Second, children must be taught about body privacy.

Encourage them to let you know if anyone ever touches them in ways or places that you have explained as bad. Children should know that some parts of their body are considered “private.” Statistics show that the majority of child molesters are family members or acquaintances; your child could become a victim of such predators without realizing that they should not be touched in that manner.

3. How can your child get help if they need it and you are not around? Teach your children about 911.

What should they say if they have to call 911? What situations are considered emergencies, in need of 911 assistance? They should know what specific examples are worthy of calling 911, and which should be handled in another way. Help them understand that this call should not be made for fun by giving specific examples of emergency situations.

4. With the internet becoming an increasingly big part of everyday life, even young children should be taught about safety on the Internet.

Even if your kids rarely use the computer, they could come in contact with strangers asking them personal questions. This is especially true if they play online games or have profiles on social networking sites, such as Facebook. You never know who could be behind the screen name, contacting your child.

5. Tell your kids what information they are allowed to give out to people they do not know.

Monitor their posts to social networking sites. Install computer monitoring software on the computers your child uses so that you can block inappropriate sites and keep an eye on your child’s online activities.

6. We’ve all heard stories of young children abducted on their way to or from school, in a shopping mall, or in any number of public places that were previously considered to be “safe.” That fact is why it is so important as a parent to teach your children about safety, empowering them to protect themselves, should the need arise.

Photo: Tina Phillips

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License



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  2. Great photo Tina Phillips, definitely one worth a thousand words! Excellent article one that is a must-read. Trauma for children can take place in many forms, not just the obvious, and it can happen to children when parents aren’t around. Something a friend or classmates says to them can have devastating effects. To protect any child’s emotional development, it is important that they are well read. Seeing a face like the one Tina has captured is a good time to ask “What is wrong?” and the answer may always be “Nothing!” Fear can work well to keep secrets, which is why it is important to think back to when such a sad face first showed up. What took place just prior to its appearance? Zeroing in on a birthday party- a walk home from school- a day at camp can help. Children are resilient, they will move on; if the event goes unnoticed however it can leave a child vulnerable to what can only be defined as post-traumatic stress, but without their, or their parents ever knowing the cause, as children are very good at burying memories! Thank you Tina and James!

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