During the summer months children are outside more and tend to spend more time in public spaces than when most of their day is spent in school. Other children are home alone for longer periods of time and need to know how to keep themselves safe. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department recently included Safety Tips for Children in its June Newsletter. Parents can use these simple rules to help their children stay safe without creating an unreasonable fear of the world that we live in. Reviewing the safety rules every once in a while will help your child learn and remember them.
Safety Tips For Children
Who is a stranger? A stranger is a person whom you have never met. You might have seen the person before, but you don’t know anything about him or her. Strangers do not look like monsters, aliens or bad guys you see on TV. Strangers look like ordinary people. “Safe Strangers” are people you do not know, but can trust to ask for help. Police Officers, Fire Fighters, teachers, store clerks, etc. are examples of a Safe Stranger.
My Rules for Safety:
- Before I go anywhere, I will always check with my parents/caregiver. I will tell them where I am going, how I will get there, who will be going with me, and when I will be back. I will let my parents know if the plans we talked about change.
- It is safer to be with other people when going places or playing outside.
- I will say “NO” if someone tries to touch me in ways that make me feel frightened, uncomfortable, or confused. I will tell a grown-up what happened.
- I will not go with a stranger and if he or she grabs me, I will yell for help, say no, kick, run away, and tell a grown-up what happened.
- I know a stranger should not ask me for help and that it is all right to tell them “NO”.
- I will not take candy, toys or money from a stranger.
- I will not tell a stranger my name, address, or telephone number.
- I will not tell anyone my “Secret Code Word”. I will not go with anyone who does not use the “Code Word”.
- I will not open my door or let anyone in the house without asking my parents first.
- I will not tell anyone that I am home alone.
- I will trust my feelings and talk to a grown-up about problems that are too big for me to handle on my own. I know that many people care about me and will listen and believe me. I know that it is never too late to ask for help.
- I am a special person and I deserve to be safe.
Deeper conversations can, and should, be held when the time is right. But sometimes, it’s good to keep things simple.