Summer Safety: 10 Tips to Help Your Kids Be Aware of Their Surroundings
It's summertime, which means the streetlights that signal that it's time to go home are now taking longer to turn on. Your older kids may be out and about, skinning knees and climbing trees, while your younger ones are finally exploring the front yard on their own.
But do they know how to handle the rest of the outside world, or more specifically, when the outside world tries to handle them? Strangers like policemen, lifeguards and maybe even the ice cream man may be OK to interact with, but where do they go from there?
Here are 10 tips, as suggested by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children:
• Make sure children know their full name, address, home and cell numbers and how to reach you if they are not with you.
• Teach kids how to use 911 and how to contact a trusted adult in an emergency.
• Instruct children to keep doors locked and to not open them or let anyone know when they are home alone. Also, choose babysitters carefully.
• Remind children to take a friend wherever they go or remain in groups and to never accept a ride from anyone. Role-play situations so they know how to respond.
• Teach children to ask permission before leaving home or if there is a change in plans.
• Have set rules during family outings. An example would be “We need to be able to have eye contact when we are at the park.”
• Teach children how to locate and ask someone for help and what to do if someone grabs them. They should make a scene, scream, kick, resist and make every effort to get away.
• Limit computer and other technology access when you are away. Block inappropriate channels, websites, etc. Use privacy settings.
• Place computers in common areas and limit internet surfing to those areas as well. Cell phones make hiding dangerous activity from parents much easier.
• Make sure children know to not post any personal information and to report to you anything they encounter online that makes them feel sad, scared, or confused.
For more on how to step over summer obsticles, click here to read our Summer Safety One Stop section in the digital edition of this month's Little Rock Family.