By the end of this week, school will be officially over for most children around the country to enjoy the perks of summer. For many that includes long days at the pool, playing outside with friends, going on adventures in their neighborhoods, and have FUN! But, what many children don’t know is that summer is also the time when more children disappear. The fact that so many kids are left to play outdoors without supervision makes them easy targets for child abductors. Just yesterday, a man in DeKalb County, Georgia tried to entice a 5-year-old girl to get into his car (watch the news report here). We at Black and Missing Foundation, Inc. don’t want you to be paranoid, but we do want you to prepare your children to know what to do, and to be watchful for those who will try to lure your children away from your homes into their grasp.
In May, we shared the blog “How to Teach Your Kids to be Safe”. Today, we are reposting this so you can share with your children what they can do this summer to keep themselves, and their friends, safe.
Though we may want to, there is no way we, as parents, can be with our children 24/7, 7 days a week. In fact, doing so would be detrimental to your child’s personal development because it would remove opportunities for them to learn how to navigate on their own, make decisions, and rely on God as their spiritual compass. That way of living is not the balance God intended for you or your children.
With this in mind, we must them equip our children to be aware of danger, and to know what to do in case they are confronted with a situation that could be harmful.
Here are some helpful tips we received from the San Antonio Police Child and Safety Division:
Child Safety: Reherse with your children their full names, address and phone number (including area code), and how to dial 911.
-Show your child emergency locations–fire/police station, grocery store, church–in your neighborhood.
-Tell your child they are never to accept rides or gifts from strangers, and that NO ONE–a teacher, clergy, even a friend–has the right to touch them in a way that makes them uncomfortable.
-Explain to them that it is ok for them to tell an adult if something happens that has made them uncomfortable.
School and Play Safety: Show your children the safest walking and bus routes to and from school.
-Teach your child never to walk or play alone outside. Also teach them to stay in well-lit, open areas where others can see them.
-Teach your children that a stranger will never have permission to pick them up from school, or anywhere else.
At Home: In preparing your child to be home alone, make sure they can reach the phone, and that important phone numbers–local fire/police department, parents’ numbers, emergency contact numbers, are visible for them to see.
-If they arrive home from school before you leave work, have them to call to check in with you to let them know they are safely in the house.
-Teach them not to open the door if a stranger comes knocking, and never to tell someone on the phone that they are home alone.
There are many more guidelines you can share with your children. The important thing is that you are talking to them about safety, and that they are equipped and prepared to keep themselves safe in most situations.
For more safety tips, visit our website at www.blackandmissinginc.com.
Candance L. Greene is Editor for Black and Missing Foundation, Inc. Her work has been published in several anthologies including Bittersweet: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Women’s Poetry; Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction; and Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir, and the Huffington Post. She is the founder of Cherishedflight Communications, LLC, an editing and writing service. Visit her website at www.cherishedflight.com and follow her on Facebook: cherishedflightcommunications and Twitter @cherishedflight.
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