Teach children about safety

Keith Alfred Adolph Blake, Ottery

I read how a caring person advised parents to teach their children to use a “password” when a stranger, a potential abductor or a sex predator approaches them.

This “password” system is suppose to protect children from strangers who approach them or speak to them.

I want to say that we have to do more with regards to our children and grandchildren’s safety.

The best instructors to teach our children about their personal safety are parents and teachers.

The golden rule, or the most important rule, that we must drill into our children’s daily routine is to never, ever talk to or approach a stranger, even if they know your child’s name.

Parents have to practise safety hints with their children and as parents we must listen to our children and know their activities and their habits.

At home, teach them to never open the door for strangers if they are alone; and to never engage in conversation with strangers when answering the phone.

There must be a list of emergency numbers that the child must phone in the event of an emergency and the parents’ numbers must be on top of the list.

In public, never just drop off your children at a mall, game arcade, park, at a friend’s home, cinema and so on. Get out and escort them and do the same when you fetch them.

Never leave a child alone in a vehicle, not even for a second.

At school, make sure that your child’s name is not visible on their clothing, backpacks and lunch boxes and so on as this practice can make an abductor or sex predator get to know your child on a “first name” basis. Place their names where only they and you can see it.

Parents have to do a recce of the route their children take to school, especially on foot and see if there are dangers or issues en route that can affect their child’s safety.

If there are bushes, have the local councillor trim or cut these bushes and trees. See if you can line your children up with a “buddy system” en route to and from school.

Communication on a daily basis between parents and children is vital and children must be encouraged to address their concerns and issues without fear of rejection or reprisals. A quote by Jeannine Lee, “Your children need to know they are loved and safe; everything else is adult business”, sums it up.