Learning Begins at Home

Parenting Tips and Reminders

Personal safety should be treated just as any other safety talk with upbeat messages and consistent conversations. As your children grow and learn about seatbelt safety, fire safety, bike safety, and other important lessons be sure that you are also having conversations with them about the safety of their own body. All children are special and have the right to grow up free from harm.

Here are some helpful tips and reminders:

Teach your child their full name, their parent or guardian’s full name, their address (including city and state) and phone number, including the area code. Instruct your children on how to use the telephone to call home, and in an emergency, 911.

Keep updated files on your child, including a photograph and physical description. If your child is under two years of age, you should update the information at least four times each year.

Pay close attention to the clothing your child is wearing each day and never display your child's name on his/or clothes or books. Children will often respond to strangers who call them by name.

Make sure your child knows what to do should you become separated in a public place. Teach your child to seek out an employee with a name tag or mother with other children as someone who can help them if they are alone or afraid. Children should be taught how to flag down a helpful adult without ever leaving their lost-spot.

Select a secret code word that only you and your child know. Tell your child never to go with anyone who does not know this code.

Teach children to trust their intuition. Talk to children about how a person might make them feel, instead of how children might know the person. If someone gives you that “uh-oh” feeling for any reason, get out of the situation and go talk to another adult. Keeping telling until someone helps you.

Certain behaviors – getting in a car, accepting gifts, leaving with someone, having someone take your picture – are behaviors that should always be checked first with the person taking care of you. Children should also be taught that adults ask other adults for help. If the person offering a ride or asking for help will not allow the child to check first, the child should be taught that it is okay to say no to an adult. If this happens, they should say no, get away, and tell someone. If your child is grabbed, instruct your child to yell "fire" (or "stranger") People are more likely to respond to those shouts than to cries of "help."

Survey the recreation and school routes your child uses. Point out any dangerous areas such as vacant lots, alleyways, busy streets, etc. Teach your child what to do should he/she be followed.

Check out these helpful resources for more information: Jacob Wetterling Resource Center – Keep Kids Safe: www.jwrc.org

Mpls. Police Dept Crime Prevention Resources – Safety Tips and Programs for Youth and Parents: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/police/crime-prevention