Remember to take note of what your child is wearing before they leave the house. If you plan to go out in nature, wear brightly colored clothes. It’s important to note that this also applies to adults. Many people go into the woods wearing camouflage, making it difficult for rescuers to find them. Clothing should be bright and ideally have reflectors, so lost individuals can be easily found in the dark.
Make sure your child knows your full name, address, home phone number, and mobile phone number. It’s also useful if your child knows where you work and how to find you during working hours.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS:
Teach your child how to use the emergency number 911, when to call it, and how to respond to the operator. Also, teach your child how to answer calls or messages from strangers.
CLOSED DOOR POLICY:
Agree with your child that they should not open the door to the apartment and that they should talk through the door with anyone in your absence.
TALKING TO STRANGERS:
Warn your child to never speak with strangers or accept any offers, such as “come see this kitten” or “come with me,” without your permission. Your child should not approach an unfamiliar car, regardless of who is inside. However, at the same time, teach your child that not all strangers are dangerous. Explain who are the safest people to turn to for help, such as police officers, security officers at shopping centers, or employees with personalized badges.
AVOID SHARING PERSONAL INFORMATION:
Explain to your child that they should not give out personal information about your family to strangers, such as the number of rooms in your home, your vacation plans, or how much money you make. This also applies to online communication and social networks.
PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES:
Teach your child how to ask for help by role-playing situations where they may need assistance, such as “what will you do if you fall off your bike?” Explain who they should contact and how to do so in those situations. Practice until you are confident that your child understands what to do.
TEACH YOUR CHILD TO SAY NO:
Teach your child to say “no” to anything that scares or embarrasses them, without hesitation or fear. Discuss potentially dangerous situations where saying “no” is required. If someone forces them to do something against their will or uses violence, they should scream, bite, break away, run, and attract the attention of others nearby.
AVOID WALKING ALONE:
Explain to your child that it’s always better to bring a friend and to always be in a large group when going somewhere or taking public transportation. Going alone to an unfamiliar place is not recommended.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR CHILD:
Make it a strict rule that your child must tell you or a relative where they are going at all times. You should always know where your child is at any given moment.
These are fundamental safety rules that are essential to teach your child, but there are also several rules that you should learn as a parent:
- In addition to paying attention to what your child is wearing when they leave the house, it’s important to keep a photo of your child with you. Take a photo at least every six months and have the most recent one with you.
- Check and recheck the recommendations for your child’s caregiver before hiring them. Surprise them one day by coming home early to evaluate how things are going. Also, pay attention to what your child says about their time with the caregiver.
- Never force your child to hug or kiss an adult if they don’t want to.
- Know your child’s circle of communication, including who they are friends with on social media. Also, know your child’s internet nickname.
- Accompany or have your child take you along their daily routes, pointing out safe places or landmarks where they can seek help. Then practice the “what if” situation with them.
- Learn to listen and empathize with your child. By doing so, they will be more likely to share with you anything that is bothering them, scaring them, or embarrassing them. Most problems can be solved before they even arise if you establish this type of relationship.
- Every time your child goes out, you should know where they are, who they are meeting, and when they should be home.