Outline what your child should do if they become separated from you. If separated while shopping, the child should not look for you but go immediately to the nearest checkout counter and ask a clerk for assistance. Tell them never to go to the parking lot.
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.
- Advise your child to walk and play with other children if you are not around.
- Be sure your child’s school or daycare center will not release them to anyone but you or someone designated by you. Set a code word with your child to be used as a signal if you send an unfamiliar adult to pick them up.
- Tell your child that no one has the right to touch them or make them feel uncomfortable or ask them to keep a secret from you.
- Report to the police any incident where a stranger tries to join in children’s play, offers your child money or gifts, asks your child to go any place with him or her, or tries to talk to or touch your child.
- If you are not expecting a repair worker and one is at your door do not open the door. Call your parents to find out if a repair worker is supposed to be there. If they are supposed to be there ask them to hold their identification card up to the peephole in your door for verification. If you are still unsure or if the repair worker isn’t supposed to be there, call the Haskins Police Department, (419-354-9001), and a police officer will respond to your home and talk to the repair worker.
If you are home alone do not tell anyone that comes to your door or calls on the telephone that you are home alone.
Parents: Safety Plan for Your Children
You may worry about talking to your child about personal safety will give him/her nightmares or will make him/her too cautious to enjoy life. But if you teach personal safety in the same relaxed, matter-of-fact way you teach fire safety or bicycle safety, your child will get the positive message that he/she is smart and able to help protect himself/herself. Don’t wait until they start kindergarten to begin teaching them about personal safety. Make use of the opportunities that you have everyday while in the grocery store, at the mall, in a park, or walking in your neighborhood to talk to your child about personal safety.
Don’t assume that once your child enters junior high school that they already know how to be safe. They can still be tricked by and targeted by predators. It is important to talk about good personal safety practices on a regular basis. Reinforce it with the “what if?” game. For example: What if you are home alone and someone knocks on the door saying they have a package for you, what do you do?” Remember to include in the discussion if the person identifies himself or herself as a police officer. The child should not open the door or go with the person, they should call the Haskins Police Department (Dispatcher: 419-354-9001) to make sure it is a police officer.
To help increase a child’s awareness of potential danger, parents should consider these general rules:
- Make sure your child knows his/her full name, address (including state), telephone number (including area code), and how to reach the operator or make a long-distance call.
- Instruct your child never to answer the door when home alone or tell anyone over the phone that he/she is home alone.
- Outline what your child should do if he/she becomes separated from you. If separated while shopping, the child should not look for you but go immediately to the nearest checkout counter and ask a clerk for assistance. Tell him/her never to go to the parking lot.
- Don’t leave children unattended in grocery carts or let them wander through stores alone. Parents should be especially careful about leaving children in the toy department while they shop elsewhere.
- Encourage your children to walk and play with friends, not alone. Tell them to avoid places that could be dangerous – vacant buildings, alleys, playgrounds or parks with broken equipment and litter.
- Make sure your children are taking the safest routes to and from school, stores, and friends’ houses. Walk the routes together and point out places they could go for help.
Set a good example with your own safety precautions – lock doors and windows and see who’s there before opening the door.