Keep your kids safe
The gut wrenching feeling of losing your child in a crowded shopping centre, amusement park or anywhere in public even for minutes is something that many parents have experienced, thankfully most of these incidents are resolved quickly with the child being found. What can you do to reduce the risk.
There are two areas - what you can do and what you can teach your child to do.
What you can do.
1. Always be alert and vigilant, try to avoid losing eye contact with your child.
2. Tell your child not to run off by themselves (easier said than done).
2. Before you go out take a photo of your child with your camera phone. That way if your child gets lost you have a photo of them and exactly what they are wearing at the time to show staff or other people at the location or Police if required.
3. If your child is old enough to use a mobile phone consider buying a cheap phone, you can pick them up for around $30.00, with a $2 sim and $10 of credit. Have them put the phone in their pocket swtitched on. That way if they go walkabout you can call them or maybe hear the ring tone. It doesn't have to be a phone that they have all the time but can be useful for trips out. (Amaysim allows you to buy a $2.00 sim and $10.00 of credit that lasts for 3 months, http://www.amaysim.com.au/home?eu=1)
4. The cheap mobile is also useful if they are walking home from school, catching the bus or you usually pick them up in case anything goes wrong. Teach them how to dial 000 and what to say to the operator.
5. If your child is using social media such as Facebook teach them
a. Not to reveal personal details on their profile such as their home address.
b. Never engage in online chat with anyone that they do not know in the real world.
c. Not to accept friend requests from anyone that they do not know in the real world.
d. Never to arrange to meet anyone that they do not know in the real world.
6. Make sure that they 'friend' you so that you can monitor their use of social media.
What you can teach your children
1. Teach you children about the concept of Stanger Danger;
a. Teach them if they are approached by a stranger, never engage in conversation or answer any questions.
b. If someone asks them for directions especially from a car, do not approach - run
c. Always run to safety, not just away from danger.
d. Teach your children a code word known only to you and them, that way if someone approaches them and tells them that they are a friend of mum or dad and that mum or dad told them to pick the child up, unless they say the code word the child should not go with them and report the incident as soon as possible - remember point c run to safety.
2. If they are grabbed, yell as loud as they can NO - The word NO will attract more attention then screaming and help.
3. Teach you children how to kick someone in the shins, it's simple - drive the front of the foot into the shin of the attacker. Always re-enforce that this is for self defence only!!
4. Teach them to keep kicking until the attacker lets go and yell NO each time they kick.
5. Run to safety
6. Teach your children to know where safe places are – a shop, service station, police station, library or school. If they are frightened, they should go to one of these places and ask them to call the police.
7. Teach your children about safe adults that they can look for and talk to if they need help – police officers, teachers at school, adults you and they know and trust.
8. Remind your children if they walk home from school to always walk straight home or to the place you are walking to. Walk near busier roads and streets, or use paths where there are lots of other people. Teach them road safety and to always be careful crossing the road.
Discuss these point regularly with your children so that you both know they understand and play games during which you test them on what they would do if...
I recommend that all children are enrolled is a self defence or martial school, the training is not only good for self defence purposes but also builds confidence and develops fit and healthy bodies in a positive way.