Child Safety Around the Holidays
While we all know the holidays can be the best time of the year for our kids, it can also be dangerous. The holiday season brings its own set of challenges ranging from being home unsupervised over holiday break to visiting distant family to simply being in a store packed with shoppers. With that in mind, here are a few ways you can keep your children safe in public and at home.
You never want to think about losing your child. Knowing your information can help you find each other quicker. In case they become lost, or in a state of emergency, you should have them memorize the most important phone numbers (parent cell numbers, etc). Write down your personal information as well as phone numbers of your work, friends, neighbors, and family members.
While You’re At Work
If your child will be by themselves while you are at work, make sure they know not to open the door to strangers, not to operate the stove, or go outside unsupervised. Always put dangerous items out of reach or locked up so injuries don’t happen. If your child doesn’t have a cell phone, investing in a landline is a good idea – that way they can reach you, you can reach them, and they can reach others (911) if needed. Prepare a phone number list of nearby friends, family, and neighbors that you trust in case of an emergency and keep it somewhere easily accessible and near the phone.
Teaching Children About Stranger Danger
Danger doesn’t discriminate. Predators can be anyone, any age, size, male or female, family, friends. Talk to your children about stranger danger, but don’t frighten them. Predators will often act friendly as a way to coax children away. Other items you can talk to them about include things they can do to attract attention to themselves like screaming, vulnerable areas on the body they can hit to get away, etc.
Make Sure To Let Your Children Know About Safe Strangers
It might be confusing to your child(ren) to talk about “dangerous” and “safe” strangers – especially since we always tell them to avoid people they don’t know at all costs. But if the situation ever arises that they are lost or with someone they don’t know, it’s vitally important to know which strangers are “safe” that they can alert if help is needed. Safe strangers are people who we can trust to help us – this might be an employee in a store, a police officer, etc. If your child is in a public place, tell them to find the nearest employee, cash register, desk, or police officer and to let that individual know that they are lost or in danger.
Communicate with your child about his/her body
-Teach your children that secrets are never okay, especially when it comes to their safety.
-Teach them about body parts, boundaries, and how to deter uncomfortable situations.
-Explain the importance of the word “NO”.
-Come up with a code word that they can use when they feel unsafe.
These discussions won’t prevent dangers from arising, but knowledge is power. Children need to know at a young age that the world is full of beautiful things as well as some bad things, too. They are more often targeted because of their innocence and naivety.
Oftentimes child abuse is kept a secret for fear of embarrassment or repercussions from the abuser. Being kept from knowledge, this can have everlasting effects on their mental and physical health. Survivors frequently suffer from mental illness, depression, and other disorders.
It is a very difficult topic to come forward with, but it’s all the more important to get the person at fault off the streets to prevent it from happening again. The attorneys here at Friedman Law Offices have extensive experienced with child abuse cases involving clergy, family members, foster parents and health care professionals. While we know that it’s impossible to undo these acts, it is vitally important to find justice for the victims of these cases.