There are basic safety tips that parents can practice to help secure their children. Review the following and ascertain which tips are applicable for your situation.
- Be cautious when choosing a babysitter. Get references before hiring the babysitter. Ask your children when you return from an outing, how they spent their time with the babysitter and watch their response. As well, try dropping in without notice, to see how the babysitter responds to your children, in your absence.
- Try to get to know your neighbors. If possible, select and establish a rotating “safe house” in the local neighborhood for children to go to, if they are in a dangerous situation. To get ideas on this, check out the program offered by Block Parent – Program of Canada at http://www.blockparent.ca/.
- Continually reinforce with your children that they should never go anywhere without getting your permission first.
- If your children walk to school, walk the route to and from school with them, pointing out safe places to go (i.e. the neighbourhood “safe house”) if they are being followed or need help. Reinforce that your children should not be traveling in any isolated areas, or shortcuts that are “off the beaten path”.
- If your children take the bus to school, visit the bus stop with them and make sure they are familiar with their school bus. If you can’t walk with them to and from the bus stop, ideally arrange for a buddy so that your children are not walking alone.