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Safety Tips for Young Children

Safety Tips for Young Children

Parents always worry about the safety of their children, but you'll have greater peace of mind if you follow these suggestions.

* Make sure your children memorize their full names, address including city and state, and phone number with area code.
* Using a play phone, teach children when and how to dial 911 or 0 and also show them how to operate a pay phone.
* Explain to your children that they should never accept gifts or rides from people they don't know well.
* Teach your children to go to a store clerk, security officer or police officer if they ever get lost in a store or mall or on the street.
* Set a good example by locking doors and windows and checking to see who it is before opening a door.
* Listen to what your children say about their fears and help them understand them and trust their instincts.

Staying Safe When Home Alone

* Always leave a phone number where you can be reached along with numbers for neighbors and emergency services right by the phone.
* Have your children check in with you when they arrive home.
* Set rules for having friends over when you're not there and for your children going to friends' homes when no adults are present.
* Let your children practice operating door and window locks.
* Explain how important it is not to let anyone into the house without your permission.
* Teach them to not reveal on the phone or at the door that no adults are home, but to instead say their parents are too busy to come to the phone or door.
* Rehearse the home fire escape plan with your children.

Safety at School and at Play

Here are some tips that will help keep children and teens safe when they are away from home.

* Encourage them to stick with their friends rather than walking or playing alone.
* Teach them how to spot dangerous places, like vacant buildings, alleys, deteriorated playgrounds and parks.
* Explain how taunting, teasing and arguing damage friendships and to settle disagreements through talking not fighting.
* Walk routes to school, stores and friends' houses so you can make sure they are safe and point out where they can get help in an emergency.
* Teach your children and teens to be conscious of criminal or suspicious behavior in your neighborhood and to tell an adult when they see such activities.
* Make sure your school has a policy of calling the parents when a child is absent from school.
* If you use daycare or after-school programs, check their credentials carefully, including certifications, staff qualifications, policies regarding field trips and parental visits, and reputation in the community.

Advice for Young People About Drugs and Alcohol

Chances are your teenager knows people who use and abuse drugs or alcohol, though they may not have seen it firsthand. Talk to your children about how their friends or acquaintances may show signs of drug use.

* Talking about drugs and drug culture.
* Owning drug paraphernalia, like pipes, syringes and rolling papers.
* Having large amounts of cash or always having very little cash.
* A sudden increase or decrease in weight.
* Slurred or incoherent speech.
* Withdrawal from other people, as well as lying, depression and paranoia.
* Dropping out of school activities.

Avoiding the Drug Scene

Help your children avoid being drawn into drugs by being smart young adults.

* Don't go to parties where alcohol or other drugs are likely to be available.
* Hang out with friends who don't need drugs or alcohol to have fun.
* Get involved in drug-free activities and encourage friends to do the same.
* Remember that the penalties for possession of illegal drugs can be severe, including prison and loss of student loans.
* The use of intravenous drugs pose a high risk of AIDS infection.