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Ten Tips to Child Safety
Child Safety is More Than
'Don't Talk to Strangers'

In light of recent kidnappings, Treg Stark, creator of Professor Safety, is pleased to offer Ten Tips to Child Safety, designed to protect your children now and for a lifetime.

Ten Tips to Child Safety

1) Know the lures abductors use. Kids are enticed by gifts and special treats. "Come see my new puppy" or "Check out this new video" are often too tempting to pass up. Educate your child to the lures predators use.

2) Listen to your child's 'secrets'. Abductors will often befriend your child on a playground or at the mall. Once a 'friend' the abductor is no longer a stranger. Be sure and listen when your child talks about new friends.

3) *Don't Talk * Don't Take* * Don't Go*. Use these three simple, easy to understand rules to communicate with your child. Make sure they understand they are not to 'Talk To', 'Take From', or 'Go With' anyone other than you.

4) Always 'go' with a buddy. Today's kids want to be independent. At the mall or a store, always make sure your child goes to the bathroom with a buddy, whether it's you or a close friend. If it is with a close friend, you stand guard outside the restroom door.

5) Don't advertise your child to a stranger. Leave names OFF the outside of clothing, socks, jackets, and soles of shoes. Advertising makes it easy for a stranger to find a child's name and to quickly become a 'trusted friend' to your child.

6) Make sure your child knows his/her name, address, phone number. It's important that if you get separated from your child, a speedy recovery can be made. Your child must know this information and must know that it can only be given to police or security members. (remember to point out security members at the mall to your child)

7) Use Passwords. Kids love to play games. You can use this to your advantage. Have your child select a password (it's important he/she picks so they will remember). Make the password two words; one a color (like green) and one a silly non-conforming word like 'gurgle'. Then prepare your child to only go with someone who uses the password 'green gurgle'. This will help prevent an abductor approaching your child and luring them away with 'Mommy is hurt…come quick!". Your child will be prepared to turn and run.

8) Form a 'Safe Neighborhood' group. Have a block safety party with parents and kids. Make sure kids know which home they can safety approach if they find themselves locked out of their own home. Keep phone numbers of these safe homes on the refrigerator for baby-sitters to use in case of an emergency. Review with each child a 'safe route' to homes in the Safety Neighborhood.

9) All you need is love - the Beatles were right! Unconditional love between parent and child should always be Rule #1. A child will migrate to love and affection. Make sure that love and affection comes from you and not a pretender. Remember, a child 'sees' love in many different ways: puppy dogs, kitty cats, a lollipop, a video game, a skateboard, an adult taking the time to show caring feelings.

10) Education empowers children - Fear endangers them. There's an old phrase - "I'd like to scare my child to death about strangers." Unfortunately, that phrase can come true. Children, when frightened, usually freeze in their tracks, making them easy prey for abductors. Education - what to do and how to do it - helps children act responsibly if the situation occurs. Make sure your child acts instead of reacts…it could save his/her life.

And Just in Case... Check this list of things to do immediately if you and your child become separated…

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