Child Safety Tips In the Home from 911 Safe ChildTM  Software

Be Aware of Your Child's Friends

•Know your child’s friends and their families. Get to know their names, their addresses, phone numbers, etc.  You can store all of this information in 911 Safe ChildTM  Software for easy retrieval.

•Before you allow your child to go to the home of one of their friends, you should learn who lives in the house or visits frequently.

•Before you allow your child to stay for the weekend at a friend’s home you should know who will be caring for the child.   If the parents will be gone at any time, will there be a babysitter?  You should familiarize yourself with the area so you know how to get there or how to give directions to another party if necessary.

•Prior to allowing a child to visit an unfamiliar friend's home without you, make it a point to get to know the friend and his or her parents.  With younger children, it may be appropriate to accompany your child on the first visit, to become acquainted with the child, his or her parent(s) and their habits/rules.

Be Aware of Your Child's Daily Schedule

•Familiarize yourself with your child’s schedule. Know where and how they spend their day.  911 Safe Child
TM  Software help you store information about the child's school, principal, teacher, bus number, afterschool activities for each day of the week, clubs and organizations.

•Know your child’s preferred route to school, playground, store, etc.

•Make sure that your child knows they can call you at any time if plans have changed or if they need you to pick them up.  If they feel ill, make sure that they have an emergency contact number or cell phone number for you.

•Make sure schools, daycares, babysitters, etc., have updated relevant information on you including pick-up person, contact information, current address, vacations planned, etc.  Your school is eligible for a free version of 911 Safe Child
TM  Software that will list all of the pertinent information for every child in the school.

•Ensure that your child's school administration, as a matter of policy, contacts you immediately if your child does not appear at school.  In addition, make sure that they have a copy of your list of persons allowed to pick up the child from school from 911 Safe ChildTM  Software.

Do Not Hesitate to Do a Background Check Or Ask for References

•Do a background check on babysitters, daycares, after school programs, camps, etc., before registering your child.

•Ask for references.  Before you trust your child to a new situation such as a new camp or a new babysitter, request references.  A reputable person will not mind furnishing references since they understand your need to keep your child safe.

•Tactfully make unannounced visits.

•When using a babysitter in your home, there should be rules that every babysitter will follow.  Ensure that he or she knows:

1. Your expectations, including duties and responsibilities.
2. Family rules and daily routines, including eating and sleeping arrangements.
3. How you can be contacted. Write down: Where you will be (including the address and telephone number) and your cellular telephone and/or pager number.

When you leave the home, babysitters should be instructed to:

1. Keep all outside doors locked.
2. Never open the door to anyone, unless you have given prior permission.
3. Never volunteer information over the telephone. (They should say that you are home but unable to come to the telephone.)
4. Watch the children closely while awake, especially if taken outside.
5. Check children regularly after they have gone to sleep.

•Talk to your children about what happened while you were gone (after the babysitter has left.) Did anything make them feel uncomfortable or afraid?

Preventing Child Abduction is Your Responsibility

What are the most important things parents should tell children about safety?
•Always check first with a parent, guardian, or trusted adult before going anywhere, accepting anything, or getting into a car with anyone.
•Do not go out alone. Always take a friend with when going places or playing outside.
•Say "no" if someone tries to touch you, or treats you in a way that makes you feel sad, scared, or confused. Get out of the situation as quickly as possible.  Tell a parent, guardian, or trusted adult if you feel sad, scared, or confused.
•Report and teach your children to report abuse, bullying, violence, sexual intimidation and rape to the proper authorities.  Identify to your children people who they can trust to help with problems (relatives, neighbors, teachers, counselors, ministers, friends and parents).
•Do not focus on "Stranger Danger;" a predator could be your neighbor or family member.
•Teach your child assertiveness skills, to be independent and to trust their own feelings. It is OK to question authority; adults, teachers, etc. at times.
•Encourage your child to be open and honest, communication is a part of keeping your children safe. Do not teach young children to keep secrets.
•Give children the opportunity to be responsible, to make choices and accept the consequences.
•Teach your child the "Buddy System/"  There is safety in numbers.

What are the most important things parents should do to avoid abduction or sexual exploitation?
•Remind older children to call home and to come home at dark. Older children are vulnerable too.
•When children are waiting at the bus stop, if not waiting with them, occasionally look out at them.  Observe their conduct; and view anyone who is not normally in the area.
•A child should never wait alone at a bus stop, especially if the stop cannot be seen from your home.
•A child may not realize that someone who knows his or her name may not necessarily be a friend. Therefore, avoid placing your child's name in a visible place.•Recognize and accept that your child may face danger at times. Do not avoid or deny the problem. "Bad things can happen to good people."
•Start early and talk openly about sex. Emphasize the idea that children have the right to privacy of their own body. If they feel uncomfortable or that something is wrong, it probably is.
•Let children know that "Good People" sometimes do "BAD THINGS"

•LISTEN to your child when they complain of problems, (abuse, bullying, sexual harassment) no matter where the problem happened: Home, school, church, social events, family or friends homes.

•Stay informed about predators in your neighborhood.
•Be sensitive to changes in your children's behavior.  They are a signal that you should sit down and talk to your children about what caused the changes.
•Be alert to an older child or adult who is paying an unusual amount of attention to your children or giving them inappropriate or expensive gifts.

911 Safe ChildTM addresses all of the safety tips that will keep your child safe.

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