1. Prepare Your Child
Teach children basic safety rules so that they are confident and prepared, rather than fearful.
Act out or discuss potentially dangerous situations so that children can practice how to respond.
3. Review and Practice
Children learn from repetition. Safety lessons need to be reviewed 5-10 times per year based on the age of the child.
4. Set Body Boundaries
Make children aware of the private areas of their body (“the areas covered by your underwear”) and explain that they should say no and then tell a trusted adult if anyone tries to touch them. We have more information on the UNDERWEAR RULE on our blog.
5. Discuss Good and Bad Secrets
Teach children that some secrets are okay to keep (like birthday surprises), but help them to understand that some secrets are not okay. Tell them that if anyone wants them to keep a secret about touching, they should not keep the secret and should tell a trusted adult right away.
6. Teach the Buddy System
Children and teens are safer when they stay with a friend or adult. This applies to walks, trips to the bathroom, outings, etc.
7. Use a Code Word
Choose a special code word that only you and your child know. Explain that if you ever send anyone unexpected to pick up your child, that person will use the code word.
8. Help Children Identify Trusted Adults
Talk with your child about trusted adults. Specifically identify who a child should go to in an emergency, such as a person using a cash register, security guard, policeman, mother with children etc. Read more on our blog under SAFE STRANGERS AND SAFE BUILDINGS.
9. Teach Telephone Skills
Teach your child your home or cell phone number and how to dial for help.
10. Insist on Background Checks
Insist that all nannies who work with your children have had background checks or a reliable reference person.