While the kid of yesteryear is growing up fast in these technological times, safety is often a concern. Getting independent for life should have careful beginnings. How to behave in the midst of a world full of strangers is the moot point. Talk about these points and exchange views on strategies to deal with problem situations if and when they do arise. Find a list of effectual safety lessons for kids.
Keep the child’s name confidential
Though all kinds of details are hosted on social media nowadays, avoid revealing the child’s name. Don’t write the name on the school bag or other belongings like the lunch packet. Strangers will then not be able to get the hang of the child’s identity. When a stranger uses the name to talk to the child, an immediate sense of comradeship develops. Such a trust won by a stranger because of the name can lead to disastrous events as the media often warns. Writing the phone number may be a better strategy on belongings in case of things being lost.
Escape from cars in the opposite direction
While children have been told often enough not to speak to strangers and avoid getting into cars with them, teach one more lesson. If they notice a car following or drawing close, it is necessary to run in the opposite direction compared to the movement of the car. Such an action would allow for some time to ask people for help to counter the threat.
Create a password meant for the family members
Much as we wish it otherwise, such scenes do occur. A stranger comes up to the child and says, ‘Your parents told me to bring you. Come with me.’ Warned in advance, the child could ask, ‘What are the names of my parents? What is the family password?’ Just like the internet world is full of passwords that protect private data, create a password or code for the family members to use to protect themselves against the outside world. When emergencies arise like an accident, you might have to send somebody to school to bring the child and the password would be useful. Passwords should always be something unusual so that they cannot be quickly guessed. ‘Apple’ may be easy to guess but ‘Rotten Apple’ would be far more difficult.
With GPS everywhere, tracking apps are life-saving indeed
With software based in satellites widely used in tracking vehicles and goods, you know exactly where the child has reached any given moment! You also know if the child’s phone battery is getting depleted. Though many GPS devices and apps have revolutionized our search for safety,
Life360 Locator iOS | Android and GPS Phone Tracker iOS | Android are some options.
Watches that carry distress buttons
Which gadget would you prefer? Inbuilt emergency buttons may be installed in bracelets and key chains besides watches and jewelry. The unique mobile app allows a constant surveillance of the child’s whereabouts. When the emergency button is pressed, a signal reaches the parents or the police, according to the system. Don’t you think that is splendid? Think BuddyTag or Major-GSM Panic.
In a crisis, teach the child to shout, ‘I don’t know them.’
Everything is fair in a moment of the war. What would the victim do when grabbed by strange hands? Behaving badly is fine like kicking and biting to break free. The purpose is to attract attention. It would be a terrible scene all right. Teach the child to shout in the crisis situation, ‘I don’t know him/her. They want to take me.’ The child should be taught to break up conversations with strangers and retreat to a safe distance. The child is not obliged to talk to strangers and should know that. If the talk with a stranger prolongs beyond a few seconds, leaving and heading for a safe spot would be the best policy. Even while talking, a safe distance of 7 feet seems advisable. If the stranger advances, step back. Insist that the child maintains such a distance and demonstrate it by acting it out.
Beware of strangers in the elevator
The confines of the very common elevators provide numerous opportunities for mischief by strangers upon children. In comparison, escalators are more exposed to the public gaze. Children should wait for elevators with the back to the wall, enabling them to see who is approaching. The child should not enter the elevator with a stranger and invent an excuse like going to check the mailbox to get away. Upon further insistence to enter the elevator, the child should say, ‘My parents told me not to ride the elevator with strangers.’ If violence is attempted like dragging or attempting to gag the mouth, the child should scream and struggle with the hope of attracting adult attention for help.
Say ‘No’ to gifts from strangers
If somebody you don’t know offers you a gift or food or a drink, refuse it without a second thought. Learn to say ‘No’ when necessary. The food or drink might be drugged.
Don’t let strangers know about parents being away
A child must not open the door to strangers when alone at home if parents are away. If no one can be seen through the peephole and nobody answers the query, ‘Who is out there?’ The door should not be opened even an inch. The child must not reveal that the parents are away to a stranger, not even if the person claims to be a friend or a municipal worker. If the stranger is insisting and trying to force his way in, the child can phone the parents or neighbors immediately.
Let online friends remain online, avoid them in real life
The internet contains plenty of criminal activity and the child should know that. When an online friend claims to belong to the vicinity, it may not really be the truth. Innocent online friends could turn out to be snakes in disguise. Names, phone numbers, and addresses should not be revealed to strangers. The child must not send photographs to online friends and reveal where he hangs out in the town. Avoid meeting such online friends in person.
No Bad touch
Child abuse is a reality. Kids should be taught to be safe from unsafe touch. Many parents hesitate to talk to their kids about this. It is important to complete the loop of communication. This will safeguard your child.
It is a sensitive matter concerning innocent children to think of several possible dangers. It is best if the child sheds that innocence as early as possible and becomes clever in the worldly ways to deal with dangers.
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