CHILD SAFETY AND SECURITY TIPS
BASIC SAFETY MEASURES
Know where your children are and who they will be with at all times. Have them return home promptly at appointed times.
Have them check in with you when they arrive at or depart from their planned destination, and when there is a change of plans.
Teach them how to make calls from landline and cell phones both in and outside your area code.
Let your children know where you will be at all times and how to get in touch with you. Have your children carry a contact card with your full name, cell phone number, work
location, and work phone numbers on it.
It should also have contact information of trusted adults they could call in an emergency if they can’t get in touch with you. They are people you can rely on and with whom your children feel comfortable.
Have your children carry an identification card with their full name, address, and home phone number on it.
Tell them that this information is personal and should only be given out to a trusted adult.
Have a way to contact your children if you will be late in picking them up, meeting them somewhere, coming home, etc.
Never let a young child go anywhere alone.
Make sure another trusted adult is present if you cannot be there.
Make sure older children, who have more freedom, always go out with friends and fully understand all safety rules.
Know what your children wear every day.
Don’t put their names on the outside of their clothes or items they carry. Children may respond more readily to a stranger who calls them by name.
Keep a record of your children’s friends and their phone numbers.
Keep an updated information file on your children. Include pictures, fingerprints, footprints, physical characteristics, identifying marks, medical and dental records, etc.
Find out why your children don’t want to be with someone or go somewhere. The reason may be more than a personality conflict or a lack of interest.
Notice when anyone shows an unusual amount of interest in your children or gives them gifts. Ask your children why they are acting that way.
Attend your children’s activities so you can observe how other adults who are involved interact with them.
Talk to the person in charge if you become concerned about anyone’s behavior.
Make time every day to discuss the day’s events with your children. Encourage them to tell you about anything unusual or suspicious that bothers them, anything that makes them uncomfortable, or scares or confuses them, or if anyone has approached or touched them.
Tell them to trust their instincts in these situations.
If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. They have the right to say “NO” if they sense something is wrong.
Be alert for any changes in your children’s behavior. Look and listen for things that indicate something is troubling them. Children are often uncomfortable in disclosing disturbing events or feelings because they are concerned about your reactions to their problems. When they do talk about their problems be calm, compassionate, reassuring, and nonjudgmental as you work with them to resolve the problem.
Listen to what they say and never underestimate their fears or concerns. Show them that you are always concerned about their safety and security. Effective communication is the most important factor in child safety.
Take advantage of situations that arise when you are out with your children to point out dangers and teach safety skills. Practice safety in “what-if” scenarios. Make sure your children understand what to look for and what to do in these real-life situations.
Report any suspicious persons or activities involving your children to the VIPD or 911.