Empowering your child with the tools for safety awareness is a protective and proactive measure that every parent should practice. It is important to create an environment that is conducive for a two-way flow of communication. This involves active listening and engaging your child on a daily basis, which will provide parents with an insight into what is happening in their child’s life. An open door policy is recommended so as to make the communication between child and parent and vice versa more natural.
Being smart is being safe, is the number one rule for safety awareness for children. Helping a child to recognise and distinguish safe strangers from unsafe strangers is crucial. This identification process can be tricky, as children often equate a stranger with a bad person. It is important that a child understands that there safe strangers such as service men and women like police officers who can assist in a time of crisis.
Yell and Tell
Teaching children how to be responsible is essential for their own personal safety and the safety of others. This requires ingenuity to take action by yelling for help and telling someone they trust, when in a dangerous situation or a potentially precarious one.
Know a Safe Zone
Knowledge is power! An ideal way to create an emergency resource list for a child is to agree on a few strategic ‘safe zones’ and the names of ‘safe’ persons who the child can talk to, if ever they feel unsafe.
Good Touch, Bad Touch
From an early age, a child should be able to differentiate what is appropriate and inappropriate touching. Role play activities can assist a child with learning the difference while building self-confidence to say no when they are not comfortable. Understanding that their body is sacred and that someone should not touch them without their consent is also important.
Predators prey on the vulnerability and innocence of a child especially on the Internet, as there is no way to verify who they are conversing with. By nature, children make friends very easily with whom, when comfortable, share personal details of their life. Parents should instill in their children that they should not share any personal information when online, especially with persons they do not know.
While a child’s safety is primarily the concern of the parents or guardian, it is also everyone’s concern.