Today’s world is a more challenging place for kids than it was for parents growing up. The risk of child abduction, school shootings, bullying and cyberbullying and other hazards has never been greater.
In response to these changing risks, many schools and parents are adopting new safety measures to protect children from danger. However, your child’s safety doesn’t stop there.
You as a parent or guardian must take every possible step you can to ensure their security and well-being at home, school, or anywhere else they spend time.
Whether you have a child that attends school or not, as a parent or guardian it’s your responsibility to keep them safe at all times. There are many things you can do right now to help your kid stay safe in almost any situation.
Educate Your Child about Safety Strategies
There are many things that could happen to a child that you can’t control. However, you can help your child understand basic safety strategies that will greatly increase their ability to manage risk.
Your child should know how to identify, avoid and deal with dangerous situations. They should also understand how to reach out for help when needed.
These skills can be lifesaving in many situations. Your child should also understand the importance of privacy and how to protect their personal information.
This includes knowing how to navigate social media channels safely and how to respond if friend requests or other communication is received from someone they don’t know.
Be Familiar with Your Child’s Schedule
One of the most important things you can do to keep your child safeis to be familiar with their schedule. This means you should know what times they arrive and depart from school.
You should also know the route they take to and from school. If possible, you should also know their regular travel schedule for extracurricular activities. Knowing these things will help you be prepared to respond to an emergency.
It’s important to understand the times your child spends with other caregivers as well. If your child is in daycare or being cared for by someone else, you should have a clear idea of their normal schedule. This will help you keep track of any possible changes that could indicate risk.
Ensure Your Child Always Has Your Phone Number
If your child ever finds themselves in a dangerous situation, having your phone number will allow them to get help quickly. It will also let them know that you’re there for them.
If your child ever needs your help, you need to ensure they have a way of getting in touch with you. You can do this by making sure they have your phone number saved in their phone, saved on a piece of paper, or have access to your contact information on social media.
Whether your child is in danger, lost, or needs to get in touch with you for another reason, knowing your phone number is the most direct way for them to reach you. Even if they don’t need your help, knowing your phone number can provide peace of mind for you and your child.
Provide Clear Communication Channels
If your child ever experiences a dangerous situation or needs to ask for help, they’ll need a way to communicate their needs to others. While you should always encourage them to ask for help when it’s needed, you should also make sure they have a direct way of communicating their needs.
There are a number of tools you can use to help your child communicate in a dangerous situation. You can teach them how to use a school safety app, like SaferWatch.
You can also teach them how to use social media to reach out to friends and loved ones, such as by sending an email or posting on Facebook.
You can also teach your child how to use their smartphone to call for help. While calling 911 is always the first line of defense, your child can also call a loved one’s phone to ask for assistance from them instead.
Ensure Effective Security Practices at School
We’ve all seen the news stories of abductions and other crimes at schools. Unfortunately, these stories are becoming more and more common, and you need to be prepared for the possibility that your child may be affected one day.
To help prevent issues at your child’s school, you should become involved in their school’s security practices. You can request a meeting with the principal to discuss the school’s protocols, and ask if they have any suggestions on how you can help.
You can also speak with the school’s safety committee to see how you can contribute to the overall safety of your child’s school. While you can play a role in your child’s safety at school, it’s important to let them know they can play a role in their safety, too.
Teach your child how to stay safe at school, like how to identify trusted adults on campus and when to use the school safety app.
Help Your Child Learn Self-Defense Strategies
Even if your child never finds themselves in danger, knowing basic self-defense strategies can help them defend themselves against bullies and other dangers that could come their way.
This can include helping them learn basic martial arts techniques or self-defense skills such as how to break out of a choke hold or other dangerous holds.
Your child should also know how to recognize dangerous situations and how to get out of them safely. This can include knowing how to break away from an attacker, how to run away from a dangerous situation, or how to defend themselves if necessary.
Don’t Forget to Teach By Example
It’s important to remember that all the safety tips in the world won’t mean anything if you don’t practice what you preach. By setting a good example for your child, you’ll help them learn better and help them feel safe and secure knowing that you are doing everything you can to protect them from danger.