With back to school season just around the corner, we want to send a friendly reminder about street proofing our kids and family to maintain a security mindset. As parents, it can be stressful to be responsible for the safety of your home, your property, your family and your kids. We are here to empower you, and to alleviate that stress. These tips can be modified to suit kids of any age.
What is Street Proofing?
Street-proofing can be defined as a child’s ability to recognize potential danger and to take appropriate action to avoid it. Aside from being smaller in size, children often don’t have the experience to see beyond the surface, and this makes them more vulnerable.
1. When teaching your kids about street and home safety, try role-playing and practice regularly.
2. Make an effort to get to know the families of your kids’ friends, especially when it comes to play-dates and sleepovers.
3. Establish a secret family code word that is easy to remember that can be used in the case of an emergency.
4. If ever grabbed by a stranger, children should scream “Help” as opposed to just screaming, as this can be viewed as a tantrum.
5. Explain that adults usually seek help from other adults, not from children. So when a stranger claims to need help to find a lost puppy, it is likely a trick.
6. Let your kids know that if another adult tells them to keep a secret from Mom or Dad, it’s a sign of danger and they should tell their parents right away.
7. Children should always travel in groups of 2 or more, always take the same route, and check in when arrived at home, if necessary.
8. When at home, and there is a knock on the door, make sure they look out the window or peephole to see who it is first. If they do not recognize the visitor, have them call you to open the door. If they are home alone, it is best that they do not open the door or communicate with the visitor at all, even if they are dressed professionally or in a uniform.
9. People with bad intentions, don’t always look bad. Trust your instincts. If someone doesn’t make you feel safe, it is ok to run away and get an adult you trust.
10. Walk your kids through your security system and emergency plans. They should know what to do and who to call in the case of an emergency such as intruders, flood or fire.