Recent incidents, including those involving children as they walk to and from school and to their activities, remind us all to stay aware of good ways to maximize child safety.
These child safety tips, provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, are provided to remind parents and caregivers that regular discussions with your children is a great parenting practice.
Although there are some days where you may doubt it, your children really do listen to you. They rely on you more than anyone else to guide them and their safety. It is not about scaring them, it is about educating them on an ongoing basis about the best ways they can be as safe as possible.
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Events on Jan. 19 and 26 included a suspect(s) approaching/annoying a young boy and a young girl in separate incidents as they walked home from school and a park in Hidden Hills and Calabasas. Sketches of the wanted suspect(s), related vehicles, and description of events can be found on lasd.org or more directly at this link: http://sheriff.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/lasd/media/detail/?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/lasd+content/lasd+site/home/home+top+stories/suspect+wanted+for+approaching+annoying+children+in+hidden+hills+and+calabasas
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (missingkids.com) offers the following safety tips for parents to discuss with their youngsters:
* Travel with a friend, or better yet, a group of friends when riding your bike or walking to or from school or other destinations.
* If a stranger offers you a ride somewhere, say “no,” and run away. Adults should define “stranger” and give safety tip examples to help youth, especially young ones, know what you mean.
* If someone follows you on foot, get away as quickly as you can. Go to someone’s house you know, or run to other people, or just run away.
* If someone is following you in a car, turn around and go in the opposite direction or take a path where a car would not go.
* Never leave school or any other extracurricular activity or event with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable. Moms or dads should tell their youngster that it is okay in these circumstances to not ride home, but that also means adults should have an established communications method along with these safety tip guidelines so that the kid does not end up stranded or alone.
* If a stranger tells you that there is an emergency or that a family member is hurt or that a pet has been in an accident, always check with your mom or dad or other trusted adults. This is a common trick used by many molesters or kidnappers.
* For more information about safety tips contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at lasd.org, your local police or sheriff’s station, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at at missingkids.com.
More safety tips:
* Adults should establish “safe houses” where kids feel comfortable in knocking on their door at any time a situation warrants it. Be sure to get approval from the neighbors/homeowners first before designating a home as a “safe house.” If possible, have a neighborhood safety tip meeting and have residents agree to watch after one another.
* Parents should be cautious about blatant use of a child’s name on a back pack or jacket. Kids sometimes believe that a person can’t be a stranger if they know them by name, when the reality is that their name was easily readable on their attire or the individual heard a youngster’s name mentioned.
* Adults should understand that boys are at just as greatest of risk as girls. It is a common safety tip misconception that child molesters or perpetrators are typically men and seek only girls. Molesters come in all ages and both genders, and their victims can be of either sex.
* Parents should begin reinforcing these safety tips as soon as a kid is old enough to understand, and above all, ensure that their child feels comfortable enough in discussing these issues, their concerns or fears, or any potentially inappropriate events that have possibly transpired. Awareness of these safety tips can help kids be less susceptible to any stranger dangers.
Partner to prevent or report crime by contacting your local Sheriff’s station. Or if you wish to remain Anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website lacrimestoppers.org.
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