The younger you start to train your child in home and personal security matters, the easier it will all be. We have all seen on TV the security video of a kid being abducted by a stranger or doing other unsafe things that put themselves in serious danger.

  1. Teach your kids to make an emergency call . Make sure they understand when they should do this. Many kids have saved a parents life because they knew when and how to call 999
  2. Teach them the home emergency drills; how to get out of the house in a fire, what to do if a stranger is in the house, etc. Do not frighten them with this. Just explain so they understand how to do it. Have them show you how they are going to do it so you know they can actually do it. Doing is a better learning tool than listening.
  3. Help your children be on the lookout for situations or actions that make them feel uncomfortable, rather than certain kinds of people. (“Stay away from strangers” is a popular warning used to prevent child abduction and exploitation, however, most children are harmed by “acquaintances.”). You need to teach them what a “stranger” is without teaching them that all strangers are dangerous. Almost any stranger a kid walks up to if they are in trouble will help them. Only a very small percentage will be a problem and the problem ones will probably be obvious.
  4. Teach your children the following:
    • If someone tries to take you somewhere, quickly get away if you can. Run and yell “Someone is trying to take me away!” Run to any other adult you can find and ask for help. Anyone is better than the person who is trying to take you. Run into the nearest house, shop or business. Do not knock or ask; just run in and scream for help.
    • If someone follows you on foot or in a car, run to a “safe place.” A safe place is where there are other people around … the home of a neighbor or friend or a store; not a wooded area or unoccupied building.
    • If you get caught with a predator or other person who is intending to harm you, then fight. Any kid can poke an eye with a finger or use their knee if the opportunity arises. It is a very painful blow and will in all likelihood allow enough time for the kid to escape. This sounds bad, dangerous, hurtful, and politically incorrect, but the alternative is not desirable. The damage done will repair itself in short time and your kid may have just saved his or her life.
  5. Always carry pictures of your children (taken within the last 6 months) and take time every day to make a mental note regarding the clothing being worn by your children. Keep their vital stats up to date. i.e height, weight, scars, distinguishing marks, etc.
  6. Develop family check-in procedures so you always know where your child is, and your child knows where you are.
  7. Learn the routes your kids use to get to school and back or to and from friends’ homes. Take a walk with your kids over the routes and point out any safety issues like alleys, drug houses, known perverts and criminals etc.
  8. Keep a list of your children’s friends and their parents’ names and phone numbers.