Basic Safety

These safety tips are targeted to children in sixth grade and lower.

  • Make sure children know their full name, address, phone number, and parents’ names. 
  • Do not put your child’s name on something that could be easily read by a stranger, i.e., backpack, bike license plate, etc.
  • Children should know how to call 9-1-1.
  • Teach your children how to escape your home in case of a fire.
  • Talk to your kids about the deadly consequences of guns, medicines, power tools, drugs, alcohol, cleaning products and inhalants.  Lock these items up out of arms reach and out of sight.
  • Teach children never to accept rides or gifts from someone they don’t know.
  • Teach children to go to a store clerk, security guard or police officer for help if lost in a mall or store or on the street.
  • Children should be accompanied by an adult to public restrooms.
  • Teach children that no one—not even someone they know—has the right to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.  Tell them they have the right to say “No” to adults or anyone in this situation.
  • Show children safe places they can go in your neighborhood in an emergency, like a trusted neighbor’s house.
  • Inspect your neighborhood for areas that threaten children’s safety, like brush in wooded areas, overgrown shrubbery, poor lighting, etc.

At School and Play

  • Encourage children to walk and play with friends, not alone.  Tell them to avoid places that could be dangerous—vacant buildings, alleys, new construction, wooded areas, etc.
  • Make sure children know the safest routes to and from school, stores, and friends’ houses.
  • Teach children to walk confidently and to be alert to what’s going on around them.
  • Tell kids to avid strangers who may hang around playgrounds, public restrooms, empty buildings, etc.
  • Teach children to always take the same way home from school.
  • Children should not walk next to curbs.  It makes them more accessible to someone pulling up in a vehicle.
  • Children should never play alone on playgrounds.
  • Kids should not wear expensive jewelry or clothing to school.
  • A child should check in with a parent or trusted neighbor as soon as they arrive home from school and someone should know if they are staying late at school.
  • Parents should take time to listen carefully to children’s fears and feelings about people or places that scare them or make them feel uneasy.  Tell them to trust their instincts.  Take complaints about bullies seriously.
  • Children should be taught to settle arguments with words, not fists or weapons.
  • Children should be taught never to take guns, knives or other weapons to school.  They should be taught to tell a school official immediately if they see another student with a gun, knife or other weapon.

At Home Alone

  • Make sure your children check in with you or a trusted neighbor immediately after arriving home.
  • Children should carry their house key on them in a concealed place.  It should not be left hidden outside the home.  Someone could see them retrieving it and entering the house and realize the key is hidden.
  • Children must be taught to use the door and window locks and alarm system—if there is one.
  • Kids should know to never allow anyone into the home without the parent’s permission.
  • Children should never let a caller at the door or on the telephone know that they are alone.
  • Children must be taught how to escape a house in case of fire.
  • Children should be taught not to go into an empty house or apartment if things don’t look right—a broken window, ripped screen or open door, for example.
  • Parents should take the time or talk to children about the deadly consequences of guns, medicines, power tools, drugs, alcohol, cleaning products and inhalants.  These items should be n a secure place out of sight and locked up.
  • When home alone, children should be able to easily locate important telephone numbers:
    • Parents’ work numbers.
    • Numbers of relatives or trusted neighbors.
    • Police and fire department.
    • Poison Control Center.

Source:  American Crime Prevention Institute