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Good Talking, Good Listening
Kids’ Safety Tips

You don't have to scare young children when you talk about child safety. Before you start your talk, make sure they know you don't expect anything bad will happen to them. You want them to know how to be safe. Even the youngest children need to know what to do if they get lost in the park or at the mall. They need to feel safe talking about worries they have about other children or adults.

The U.S. Department of Justice's National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) wants you to talk with your children and give them a few safety tips. Help them learn to:

  • Clearly say their full name, address, telephone number, and parents' names.
  • Always ask you or the person in charge before they go anywhere with anyone, even someone they know.
  • Always ask you or the person in charge before they accept anything from anyone, even someone they know.
  • Take a friend when going outside to play.
  • Say "No!" if someone touches them or treats them in a way that is scary or confusing.
  • Tell you anytime someone makes them feel scared or confused.

Even the youngest children should know they are strong, smart, and safe as long as they learn the safety rules.


Resources

  • Time Magazine has some excellent parenting advice about keeping children safe. For example, tell children that if a police officer, security guard, or salesperson isn't around, and they're lost and scared, find a Mom. A woman with a stroller or young children is probably a person who will try to help a child who's lost.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) has an excellent guide to get families talking. "Talk With Your Child About Sensitive Issues" provides conversation starters about safety and other hard-to-talk-about issues.
  • The FBI's "Safety Tips: Child Abduction" provides simple rules and suggestions.
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Updated on 4/5/2013