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Fort Hood Press Center
DATE: December 15, 2010 4:11:10 PM CST

Child Safety Tips

Children:

  • Always tell your parents where you are.
  • Try not to walk anywhere alone.
  • If a stranger follows you or grabs for you, yell loud and make as much noise as you can.
  • Tell your parents about places you don't feel safe.
  • Talk with your parents and come up with a secret code word.
  • If someone other than a parent comes to pick you up unexpectedly, this person needs to know the “code word” before you leave with him or her.
  • Bad people do not always look mean or scary; Do not get close to strangers.
  • Do not tell your name or address to a stranger.
  • Never go with a stranger to look for a lost pet.
  • Never get into a car with anyone you don't know. If they don’t know your code word, don’t get in the car with them.
  • Never enter someone's home without a parent.
  • If you have to ask for help from a stranger, if possible seek help from a police officer or teacher.
  • If you have to go to a home for help, ask them to bring a phone outside to you. DO NOT go in their home.

If someone tries to grab you:

  • Your voice is your primary weapon - remember that the last thing the bad guy wants is a fuss. Screaming ANYTHING halts the attack in many cases, or at least buys you a couple of seconds to get away. If you carry a personal alarm or whistle, use it.
  • Run toward other people. If there are other people nearby, run to them. If there is a lighted business or home, run to it. You are attracting attention which will likely cause the attacker to leave the area.
  • Know safe places you can go (such as Police or Fire Stations, stores with lots of people, churches, and community centers).

Stranger Danger at Home:

  • Doors should NEVER be opened when you are home alone.
  • Talk with your parents and prepare a list of people who may be let in.
  • If someone you don’t recognize persists, won’t go away, or tries to force an entry, immediately call 911.
  • Tour your house with your parents so you are familiar with all entry/exit points, and identify hiding places should someone make entry to the house.
  • Make sure you are familiar how to lock/unlock all doors, windows, and garage doors.
  • Never tell anyone on the phone you are home alone.

Parents:

  • Take your child on a tour of the housing area they will be living in.
  • Map out and allow your child to explain to you the quickest way home from school. Walk with them from time-to-time.
  • Make sure your children follow this route with no deviations unless they get your permission FIRST.
  • Know who your child walks to and from school with.
  • The secret password is an important element of protecting your children from danger because once in a while something may come up where someone else may have to pick up your children.
  • Abductors often trick children into going with them quietly. Teach your kids that adults should ask for help from adults, not children. -Abductors have tricked kids into going with them by offering candy, toys, saying that their puppy is lost, or asking the child if they want to see a baby animal or if they can give them directions. If an adult is asking for help, they should say "No!" and run away to tell a safe grownup.
  • Be aware that talking about these things can frighten your children, but knowing how to act will help protect them. Be sure to talk to them in a calm tone. -The most important thing we can do to protect our children is to communicate and teach them how best to protect themselves.

Discuss the following questions with your children:

What is a stranger? [A person that you and your parents do not know.]

How might a stranger try to fool you into getting into their car? [By telling you that your parents couldn't come so he/she was sent to give you a ride home.]

How can you protect yourself? [By asking the person to give you the family's secret code word.]

If a stranger stops their car near you and asks for directions, what should you do? [Stand at a good distance from the car, even if they ask you to come closer.]