Helping Your Child Stay Safe

We all want our kids to be safe and there are some basic and simple steps we can take to help them be just a little more prepared should a potentially dangerous situation arise. The first thing we have to do is talk to our kids about some of these situations they may encounter.

This seems so obvious but I bet many of us haven’t had all of these conversations. Then once you’ve had the conversation and gone over the proper course of action you should review these steps periodically with your child so they stay fresh in their mind. Here are a few of the conversations you should be having with your kids:

Fire

What do you do if there is a fire in the house. Teach your kids to crawl if there is smoke. Teach them about feeling if doors are hot before opening them. Teach older kids how to use a fire extinguisher. Agree on a family meeting spot outside where everyone goes to in the event of an emergency which requires evacuating the house.

Lost in a store

What do you do if we get separated in a store and you can’t find me. Don’t leave the store. Look for an employee or go to the front register and tell them you can’t find your mommy or daddy. This seems like obvious information and most kids when calm would probably come up with this idea, but in a state of panic they might not. If you have discussed this with them beforehand they are much more likely to remember and stay calm.

Getting off bus/Home from School

We have a plan in place if no one is at the bus stop or at the house after school. I sure hope this never happens but if for some reason it should, we have a plan in place and we periodically review this plan.

Someone offers you a puppy/candy

This is actually a difficult conversation to have with your young innocent child. To have to tell them that there are evil people out there in the world that would like to steal them. You don’t need to go into all the gory details or create some situation where your child is afraid to be in public for fear of being kidnapped, but you also don’t want them to be completely oblivious to the fact either. So you let them know of common tactics used to lure kids away and you tell them to get a trusted adult and to never go anywhere with a stranger.

Someone Tries to take you

I spend a lot of time telling my kids not to bite, hit or scream but I let them know that if someone ever tries to take them that is exactly what they are to do.

Accident to mom/dad

We have a plan in place if I am home with the kids by myself and I have some sort of accident or medical issue. Periodically I quiz them on different scenarios and have them tell me what they are supposed to do. Call 911, go next door for help, etc.

Create a secret password

This is one that we actually have not done yet and we need to. Your family needs to come up with a code word that in the event mom or dad sent someone the kids didn’t know to pick them up then the stranger would have to use the password and the children could know mom and dad really did send them. In the cellphone age this is becoming less necessary but it’s easy to create and could come in handy, so why not. For older kids you can also create a code word or phrase that lets them inconspicuously alert you they are in trouble or need you to come get them. If for example they are with their friends and being peer pressured to do something or just don’t feel safe, but don’t feel like they can just say “Dad come get me.” there could be a code “Dad you know I don’t like meat loaf.” Then you would know something was up and you needed to get over there right away.

Some of these conversations are a little bit harder than others. No one likes to think of our little ones as being in danger but the more we can discuss it and practice it with them ahead of time the more they are apt to handle themselves appropriately in the event one of these situations occurs. In the end that’s the whole point of this, to help them to be a little bit safer.

What are some conversations you’ve had with your kids?

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23 thoughts on “Helping Your Child Stay Safe”

  1. This is great advice especially the kidnapping scenarios. Very easy to fall into a “comfort” zone and forget the zillion of sicko’s that are out there.

  2. This is a great list. I do most of them already. but have overlooked telling them what to do if they get lost in a store. Thanks for that reminder. I also tell my kids about what to do if someone close to us, family friends or family members, does something to make them uncomfortable. The reality is they are more likely to be harmed by someone close to the family than by a stranger. This is a tough one to tell them, but I would rather be safe than sorry. Great post! #partyunderthebigtop

  3. These are all great and there are some I never considered like the code words/phrases. My son is still too young to have any of these conversations but I will definitely keep them in mind for when he’s older.

  4. My kids are older, 15 and 22, so now it is a whole new set of worries. These are great tips, very well thought out. I wonder what my kids would do if I instituted the password! LOL! They would think I was more insane than they already do. I know that this is no laughing matter, keep your kids safe, at all times.

    1. Ha! Let them think you are a little bit crazy. It might make them nervous to get out of line 🙂
      And you’re right, in reality its not a laughing matter and them thinking you’re crazy might be a good trade off for safety.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Mike, that is some great advice for anyone. We tried to lose Casey several times when he was younger but people kept bringing him back.

  6. Great list. My children are older now, but I remember a terrible time when my eldest ran off in a store with his friend – he was 3 – and it took a full 10 minutes to find them. (They were hiding underneath some ladies’ coats). It was one of the most terrifying times of my life.
    #brilliantblogposts

  7. Really cool Dad. Really cool Mike. Let’s talk smack about Casey on your blog. I get it!!! Ha… great list Sunshine Dad. I did get lost in the mall at least once and of course I left the store. Looks like ole Franklin could have used this list almost 30 years ago. 😉

  8. Great list!
    Don’t forget the modern issue of online safety (for slightly older kids – you can probably start talking about it around ten), especially about exposure to inappropriate stuff, but also about online predators and impostors.
    Also, my teenagers still remember my “don’t get molested in camp” talk (their moniker, not mine) – God, that was uncomfortable!
    As for getting lost in a public place, I never thought to tell them not to leave the store, so thanks for that. I do train my kids, though, to find a uniformed female employee or a mom with kids – they’re less likely to take advantage of a lost child. Call me paranoid, but I wanna have all bases covered.

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