When we think of personal safety, we think of the girl walking home from a party after dark. But over 50,000 children are abducted by people not related to them every year, and the number multiples by four when family member abductions are included. These numbers are large enough that we repeat “stranger danger”, but there are some more useful safety tips you can practice with your children.
1. Make sure your child knows that you are a safe resource. Listen to his or her day to day activities, especially if they seem troubled.
2. Teach your children why you have safety measures, such as the buddy system, in place. That shows them that you value their reasoning and can help them learn to trust their instincts.
3. Practice safety skills by giving your children scenarios and discussing their reactions to problems and why they are or are not suitable.
4. Show your child how to call 9-1-1 or your home phone number. Also be sure they know all emergency contact information, such as their full name and perhaps another trusted adult’s information.
5. Tour local areas with your child, pointing out safe routes or places to seek help.
Your child’s biggest resource for safety is you. Your behaviors and rules will teach them safe behaviors of their own. If your child is old enough and can be trusted with self-defense products such as pepper spray or an alarm, Self Secure offers a line of products that will help your child defend himself against others and help to give you peace of mind.