Child Safety: Here Are 7 Steps Parents Can Take to Keep Kids Safe! by Robert Hessel
Our children’s safety is the most important thing to parents. The reality is that now more than ever, the world can often be an unsafe and scary place with so many dangers lurking around unsuspecting kids. How can you keep your children safe? Here are seven tips for parents:
- Don’t disclose personal information on social media. While this may seem obvious to parents, many kids don’t know any better. Once your children reach the age where they are on social media, give them rules and guidelines. Many kids use social media and its various functions without a second thought of repercussions or possible risks. Inform them of the risks of geotagging photos and informing their ‘friends’ of their location. This information can all too easily end up in the wrong hands and equate to negative outcomes for your children and family.
- Utilize modern tools available to you. If your kids have cell phones, don’t hesitate turning on the tracking functions. Inform them that it is just a precaution and you will only use it if they do not answer your calls or texts. This function can be a breech of privacy for some, but it may be useful if your children suddenly stop communicating with you. Not to mention, losing a $1000 phone can be quite the expense.
- Check your settings. Online and through smart phones are two popular avenues hackers can access your children’s information and lives. Teach your kids how to change their phone and computer settings to disable microphone and location use. Make sure their information on their chosen platforms is safely displayed and not open for the world to see their every action. Don’t forget to make sure they change passwords every few months. Regularly checking settings is an important factor to keep them safe in the digital world of today. This is a good habit to build from a young age as well.
- Have awareness without fear. You model the behaviors you wish to instill in your children. Teach them that awareness is key when bad situations arise. There is no need to be afraid of possible attacks because that will just increase fear and anxiety. Awareness is an entirely different ballgame. You remain aware by taking in your surroundings and thinking critically.
- Stay vigilant after dark. It is a known fact that more crime occurs after sundown because of the lack of daylight. Give your kids a curfew to learn responsibility and planning skills. Allowing them to venture into the night can help build trust in your relationship. Make sure they remain cautious and conduct themselves in an intelligent manner after dark.
- Lock your doors. Whether your family is home or away teach your children how to lock down the house at a young age. Have them conduct walk-throughs to check that window and door locks are safely fastened. Get your children in the habit of locking up the house from a young age to help them learn the importance of safety and precautions in the home. Once again, this is a component of awareness rather than fear.
- Listen to your gut. Overall, instincts are some of the most important assets a person has regardless of age. Teach your children that if something doesn’t feel quite right – they need to listen to that feeling. For younger children they can inform an adult that something sparked their attention. Listening to your gut allows healthy intuition and self-responsibility to grow. Even if nothing is wrong, instincts can be a helpful tool to hone throughout life.
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