Street Safe Kids

The most important think we can do for our kids as they head out to play this spring/summer season is to teach them so very basic streetproofing tips.

At an early age children should be taught:

    * their full name
    * their age
    * their telephone number
    * their address
    * how and when to dial 911 or operator
    * how and when to dial a parent or relative.

Define clearly what a stranger is . . . anyone your child does not know. There are "good strangers" and "bad strangers". Since children cannot recognize the difference they must learn to treat all strangers the same and follow the rules:

    * do not talk to strangers (despite tricks like asking directions, offering candy, lost pet, etc.)
    * do not take anything from a stranger (candy, food, money, toys
    * do not go anywhere with a stranger (riding in a car, walking, entering a house, etc.)

Teach children that if a stranger bothers them:

    * to make a loud noise by yelling (help! stop! go away!) "no" is not enough
    * to run to a safe place and tell someone what happened (school, store, office, Block Parent, library, bus driver, etc.)
    * not to hide (in "hide and seek").

Play, walk and ride safely. . .

    * stay with a group, never walk alone
    * avoid unsupervised areas like vacant lots and buildings, construction sites, wooded or busy areas, creeks and riverbeds.

If someone follows a child they should:

    * get a description if the person
    * get a description of the vehicle
    * get a licence number
    * run to the closest safe place (listed above)
    * turn around and run in the opposite directions (it takes time for a vehicle to get turned around)
    * tell you about anything they feel uncomfortable about.

Parents and caregivers should:

    * keep important telephone numbers by the phones
    * familiarize children with safe places in their community
    * provide adequate supervision and do not leave a child unattended even for a moment
    * do not display a child's name on clothing or backpacks, etc.
    * if a child gets lost in a store, go to the nearest cashier
    * become a Block Parent and encourage others to do the same.