Prevention always starts at home. Use the following tips to help educate children on safety and awareness.
CHILDREN SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO:
- Know his/her full name, as well as your name, address and telephone number, including area code. Children should know how to use the telephone.
- Never say they're alone when answering the phone - instead, offer to take a message or say their parents will be back shortly.
- Never answer the door if they are alone. Never invite anyone in the house without permission of a parent or baby-sitter.
- Never take candy or gifts from strangers or anyone else without asking a parent first.
- Never play in deserted buildings or isolated areas.
- Move away from cars that pull up beside them if they do not know the driver.
- Know that no one should touch any part of his or her body that bathing suit would cover.
- Avoid shortcuts through empty parks, fields, laneways or alleys.
- Run home or go to the nearest public place if they are being followed and yell for help.
- Tell you if someone has asked them to keep a secret from you.
- Tell you where they are at all times or leave a message at home. Give up money, jewelry or clothing rather than fight.
- Know they can talk to you and call you to pick them up at any time.
- Avoid clothing and toys with your child's name on it. A child is less likely to fear someone who knows his/her name.
- Check all potential baby-sitters and older friends of your child. Never leave your child alone in a public place, stroller or car, even for a minute.
- Always accompany young children to the bathroom in public places.
- Always accompany your child on door-to-door activities.
- Point out safe houses where children can go if they are in trouble.
- Create an environment where a child feels safe to talk to you. Let him/her know that you are interested and sensitive to their fears.
- Teach children that the police are their friends and that they can rely on them if they are in trouble.
- Keep an up-to-date color photograph of your child, as well as a medical and dental history, and complete an Child Identification Kit.