Personal Safety Tips
Here are some Personal Safety Tips for parents to discuss with their children in an effort to make students aware of these incidents and to also be better prepared in case something like this happens.
* Safety is always best in numbers. Advise your child to walk to and from school with a buddy.
* If your child feels that he or she is being followed and they have a cell phone, they should immediately call 9-1-1.
* Never talk to a stranger. Strangers with bad intentions try to trick kids into helping them. Kids should never talk or answer their questions. If they do answer, it should be something along the lines of “go ask an adult” or “I do not know I am only a kid.”
* Teach your child to think on their feet. They need to keep distance from strangers and not let someone get close enough that they could grab or touch them.
* Advise them to run or walk quickly towards an area where they see people (a school, a business, a shopping center, a home with someone outside, a busy roadway, or a park where they see people.) They should never walk into an alley or location that further isolates them.
* Know your child’s walking/riding path to and from school. Determine a path together that is visible, even if it’s a slightly longer route home.
* Go directly to your destination. Pay attention to where you are going. Talking or texting on your cell phone is a good way to pass the time while you're walking, but it can distract you from noticing what's going on around you.
* Be aware of surroundings - who is behind you and in front of you. Are there occupied cars parked along your route?
* If someone approaches you or tries to get your attention, get away immediately. Cross the street or walk the other way.
* Give your child confidence. Let him/her know that they can fight back - kick, bite, struggle and scream and holler.
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By Sasha Emmons