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Child Safety Awareness

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With all the media attention on this particular issue, it may seem overkill to cover it here, but I feel that it is such an important issue, every opportunity to point out practical tips to protect our children will serve to reinforce it in our minds.





This may seem silly because it is "common sense" but many parents leave their children in a vehicle at the gas station while they run in "just for a minute" thinking their child will be fine if they lock the doors.  A kidnapper looks for these situations and can break the glass and take the child in less than 30 seconds.


Another thing to remember is to never let your child out of your sight while shopping.  Do not let your children play while you browse through the clothes racks.  Keep your child in your sight at all times.  When you have to look away, place your hand on your child at all times.  Ideally, your young child should be in a shopping cart or in a stroller.  Older children should stand with you within your line of sight.  (You are the parent; you must discipline your older child to obey you in this.)





Someone calling our name triggers a response inside of us that says "This person knows me!"  A child will trust someone who seems to know them.


Even daycares and schools are becoming more aware of this and are now not requiring the children to wear the school logo on clothing.





Get your calendar and mark the days to do this.   Also write on that photo your child's current height, weight, eye color, hair color and any noticeable birthmarks, scars, moles and if your child is right-handed or left-handed.





I bought my daughter a cell phone.  Not for her chatting pleasure but for my peace of mind!  She is 16 years old but she is required to call me as soon as she gets off the school bus, she must call me before going to a friend's house, and she is required to answer the cell phone anytime her father or I  call.


If your child is attending a function as a guest of a friend, do not assume that the parents of the friend are going to be watching out for your child!  Make sure you know exactly who is in charge of chaperoning your child.





Teach your child from the time they can walk to come to you or to an adult IMMEDIATELY if they begin to choke.  It's also a good idea to teach them how to do the Heimlich on themselves by balling up their fist, placing it right above their navel, then slamming their body down on a hard surface right where their fist is.  Also teach them to dial 911 and DO NOT HANG UP, EVEN IF THEY CAN'T TALK.


(My daughter choked on a meatball when she was two years old.  I was in the kitchen getting her some more juice and she walked into the kitchen with a puzzled expression on her face, but no sign of distress.  Yet somehow, I knew exactly what was wrong.  (My guardian angel was screaming in my ear "She's choking!!!)  I asked her if she could speak and she couldn't, so I immediately did the Heimlich on her.  It took three tries but then the meatball came out.  Then my knees gave out!  I hugged her and praised her for doing exactly what I had taught her.  To this day, I'm slightly paranoid about choking.  :whistle: When my 16 year old gets home from school and wants to eat, she is required to call me before she eats and right after she finishes eating.  She knows to dial 911 if she starts to choke.  If I'm in a meeting, she is required to wait until she speaks with me before eating.  This system has worked for the past 14 years.  And yes, I can trust her not to cheat and eat

before telling me!)








(My friend has four children and taught each of them how to dial 911.  Evidently, the youngest one thought she needed more practice because she woke up at 1:00 am one morning and called 911 and told the dispatch operator that she was on fire and needed help!  :woot: :rofl: )





Unless your child has specifically called for help, they should not open the door for anyone, even if that person claims to be a neighbor, or someone sent by you, or even if the person is wearing a police uniform or fireman's suit. 





This code word is a word that someone must give child before they can pick your child up from any function.  My daughter's camp uses this system and I have to give the code word before picking her up.





Fingerprint kits can be found online or at your child's school.  If not, you can get an inkpad from Office Depot and use that.  Make several copies and keep them in a safe place.  I would recommend keeping your child's video tape, photos, identification info and the prints in one big envelope and in an easily accessible place, such as a bedside table drawer.  Don't "file" these items, you'll never find them in a panic situation.





Children love to scream and run anyway, so this is a fun lesson!  And get your friends to help by pretending to be a stranger offering candy or asking for help or holding a cute kitten or an adorable puppy.  The more your child practices, the more it will become something they will remember





Most daycares and schools already teach this, but you can begin teaching this at a very young age.  Teach your child to "Stop.  Drop.  Roll."  if they ever find their clothing on fire.  This is another fun lesson to learn.





Unfortunately, there are child molesters everywhere, including in our own families and circles of friends.  You cannot control everyone, but you can teach your children to be aware and to come to you if ANYONE makes them feel "weird" or "funny" or in any way uncomfortable.


There are many resources online and at bookstores with guidelines to help you know how to explain this issue to your child in a calm and matter-of-fact manner.





As a parent, you are responsible for monitoring what your child is viewing online.  Teach your child the importance of never giving out his or her name, address, or any personal information at all.  The FBI does monitor websites geared for children but their eyes cannot be everywhere at once.  Please take the time to review the FBI recommendations found at their website listed below. 







http://www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/pguidee.htm  (for the parents to view)

http://www.fbi.gov/kids/k5th/safety4.htm  (for the kids to view)





Please feel free to post other suggestions that may help us to protect our children!

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Great post Holly.  There is a great book out there well two I have read.  One is called the Gift of Fear it is about personal safety and family safety.  The other is called Protecting the Gift.  It is about keeping your kids safe. They are by Gavin Debecker.  (spelling?) Lots of good info in them.


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Guest wayne

I have read both of those by Gavin DeBecker.  lots of good information.

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Many children are what they call walkers.  When school lets out the children that do not ride buses or get picked up and have to walk home.  Some are at times alone and on back roads, especially in remote areas.  In some communities safe houses have been developed.  The folks are investigated (and usually have school children themselves), then the school places them on a safe house list.  On the front lawn a sign is placed outside or in a front window of the home that the children recognize for sanctuary.  As they walk home they can run for the home in an emergency of any kind, whether fear of stranger, a stray dog, sickness, or injury.  It is an excellent program.

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Great post Holly!


Like LOST stated, lots of kids are "walkers", my oldest boy included. During the cold months we tend to take a degree of pity on him and drive him to school, but he always walks home.


For safty reason's, we insist he take a slightly longer route to get home, but it is the main road the other kids use, as well as where the buses and parents travel, instead of a back road which is a shortcut to our house. Not only because the shortcut has no sidewalks (why would ANYONE make a road to a school without a sidewalk is beyond me) but more importantly, it is FAR less traveled then the main enterance.


He also carry's a little box which is a personal alarm. When the cords is pulled it emits a high pitched noise that is painful to the ears. The idea is to 1) attract as much attention as possible, and 2) maybe get away from the attacker. Tough little device, and he Never uses it, because it hurt his ears, to the are no false alarms. The company is now out of business, but I am sure others manufactures make them. We tested it one saturday and my wife could clearly hear it inside our house, and we tested it right outside his school. It is about the size of a pager.



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What an awesome device!  I've never even heard of these before.  I'll try to find some links online for one.  Thanks, MrCoffee!

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Very interesting information. Might need to pick up one for my nephew.  He has to walk a great distance to stay on the main roads as well for his own protection.  There is always a risk, for boys or girls.  What the heck is wrong with this world.

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thats a great post,

I remember when i was a kid in grade school, I use to walk home everyday. usually with my freind mike or with my sister or both. but i remember once when i came home my dad asked us if anyone wanted us to get into their car or anything. we of course said no.

well apparently someone has been going to the school in a van and giving a puppet show out of his van, and was trying to get kids to come inside.


I dont think anyone went with him and im pretty sure he was caught but that goes to show what these predators will do. Its up to not only the parents but for the community to keep an eye out and make sure kids are safe.


I teach kids karate at our school. and after the classes we always have "mat chat" (its called that because we sit on the mats and chat) alot of tiems its talking to the kids about things like respect, or being polite, stuff like that, last month we talked about "good touch or bad touch" like if your mom gives you a hug its a good touch, or if your karate instructor gives you a high five its a good touch. but if someone touches you and you just dont feel right and you feel nervous its bad and you need to tell someone right away.

we tell them not to keep any secrets and to always tell a teacher or parent or even one of us if somthing happens.


of course we never go into detail about what kinds of touches but they get the idea. its a touchy subject but all the parents were really glad that we talked about that.

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That is so important that the children know that even in school they need to be aware.  The parents can always go into the details as needed per age, but a base line you have given to the kids at mat chat is a great idea!

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Guest taken by the wind...

~ Excellent information Holly!  :clap:  When it comes to keeping kids safe from strangers, it is also important to let them know that it isn't always a "stranger" that approaches them. Sometimes they don't even understand what a "stranger" is... ask them. they think a stranger is some kind of horrible mean person that they will recognize immediately! I don't even know if they should use the word anymore! Most kids who are molested, are not molested by strangers. When you think back to how we ran the streets when we were younger, it's amazing how protective we are today, compared to our parents! LOL!


I asked my daughter what she would do if there was a fire in the house just the other night (she's six). She said she would stop, drop, and roll! I said... WHEN do you stop drop and roll? She said "whenever there's a fire!" LOL!  :woot: :rofl: :rofl:  Ya see? Sometimes you have to ask a few questions to find out what they are really learning! I told her that's what you do when you are on fire! She was shocked... "you mean I could be on fire?"  :scared:

I was like "YES!" and the last thing you will be thinking of is to stop drop and roll! It will hurt BAD! You HAVE to remember if you run it will get worse! So, always quiz them. Holly, I'm also paranoid about my kids choking. To this day, I cut their hot dogs length ways down the middle!


However, I am more concerned about automobile safety than anything else. Our cars kill more kids than strangers do by far. Make sure they are buckled up. And make sure that YOU are. If you're not, you can be catapulted into them in even a minor collision, and kill them instantly. I don't know much about national statistics on childhood injuries, but after carrying a pediatric trauma pager for almost twenty years, I see trends after a while.  :whistle:


Most critical injuries occur during accidents. Many are even in a carseat, but it is not properly restrained... it's too loose. The majority of children who are severely injured were not restrained at all. They are usually ejected from the vehicle... through a window. Most die from head injuries. (NOT at the scene) but have to be removed from life support a few days later due to being brain dead. (Not to be confused with comatose).


You would be surprised how many parents buckle their kids in, but don't buckle themselves in.  :mad:


Also... kids get hit by cars. Most of them are 5-7 years old. It usually happens in the springtime, when Daylight savings time puts them outside, after school, riding their bikes when people are getting off work. I think that age group is old enough that they are starting to gain a little freedom and confidence, but they can't pay attention to traffic well enough. People are rushing home, tired, and not paying attention to kids...  it is a lethal combination of circumstances.


Go-carts and four wheelers kill kids all the time. There's a reason that you can't drive until a certain age. But for some reason, parents feel safe putting their kids on these machines and turning them loose. They run out in front of cars... into trees you name it. Those things kill kids every year. (Just what I've seen... don't know about nationally.) remember... this is just my point of view.


Guns... I've seen a lot of kids come in who were shot by a gun that was in their own home. Or in the home of a friend. usually they are teenagers. One was a baby, who just happened to be in the way when some other kids were playing with it... 

I've also seen kids come in who were shot, or stabbed in random acts of violence by strangers, but that was only once.


We had four young children come in one night a year and a half ago, who were stabbed repeatedly with a butcher knife by their own father. Who then stabbed himself? with his left hand, when he was right handed...?  the mom moved to Chicago... No front page story. Nothing ever said about it. That's why I say that stuff happens all the time, and the media focuses on only some things.  Children die by domestic violence WAY more often than by strangers. We never teach them how to avoid THAT.


I can't even COUNT the number of infants that have died at the hands of a "boyfriend" that the mom was dating... shaken baby syndrome. They are too numerous to even count. I'd put ignorant mom's and their sorry boyfriends right up there behind automobiles as the number one cause of death of otherwise healthy infants and toddlers in this country.


Drowning... swimming pools kill. many babies fall in trying to dip water out of the pool with a play bucket. The bucket get's heavy as they pull it up, and all of a sudden, the weight pulls them right in. Little beach buckets should never be left around pools. Babies often are smart enough (believe it or not) NOT to topple into a pool by accident. They fall in playing with stuff around the edge (like buckets) or toys.


That's all I have for now... I may think of other stuff later.





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This is what we need, my friends, everyone pitching in and helping to raise our awareness of all the things we can be on the lookout for, to protect our children. 


Taken, this is awesome!  :thumbsup:

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Heres one I think we over looked> avoid dressing your child in camofladge clothing. I know its kinda cute but if they get lost it just makes it harder to find them.

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I saw this article this morning.  I'm telling you, microchipping babies at birth is coming! 




Engineer: GPS shoes make people findable


MIAMI - Isaac Daniel calls the tiny Global Positioning System chip he's embedded into a line of sneakers "peace of mind." He wishes his 8-year-old son had been wearing them when he got a call from his school in 2002 saying the boy was missing. The worried father hopped a flight to Atlanta from New York where he had been on business to find the incident had been a miscommunication and his son was safe.


Days later, the engineer started working on a prototype of Quantum Satellite Technology, a line of $325 to $350 adult sneakers that hit shelves next month. It promises to locate the wearer anywhere in the world with the press of a button. A children's line will be out this summer.


"We call it a second eye watching over you," Daniel said.


It's the latest implementation of satellite-based navigation into everyday life — technology that can be found in everything from cell phones that help keep kids away from sexual predators to fitness watches that track heart rate and distance. Shoes aren't as easy to lose, unlike phones, watches and bracelets.


The sneakers work when the wearer presses a button on the shoe to activate the GPS. A wireless alert detailing the location is sent to a 24-hour monitoring service that costs an additional $19.95 a month.


In some emergencies — such as lost child or Alzheimer's patient — a parent, spouse or guardian can call the monitoring service, and operators can activate the GPS remotely and alert authorities if the caller can provide the correct password.


But the shoe is not meant for non-emergencies — like to find out if a teen is really at the library or a spouse is really on a business trip. If authorities are called and it is not an emergency, the wearer will incur all law enforcement costs, Daniel said.


Once the button is pressed, the shoe will transmit information until the battery runs out.


While other GPS gadgets often yield spotty results, Daniel says his company has spent millions of dollars and nearly two years of research to guarantee accuracy. The shoe's 2-inch-by-3-inch chip is tucked into the bottom of the shoe.


Experts say GPS accuracy often depends on how many satellites the system can tap into. Daniel's shoe and most GPS devices on the market rely on four.


"The technology is improving regularly. It's to the point where you can get fairly good reflection even in areas with a lot of tree coverage and skyscrapers," said Jessica Myers, a spokeswoman for Garmin International Inc., a leader in GPS technology based in Kansas. "You still need a pretty clear view of the sky to work effectively."


Daniel, who wears the shoes when he runs every morning, says he tested the shoes on a recent trip to New Jersey. It tracked him down the Atlantic Coast to the Miami airport and through the city to a specific building.


The company also has put the technology into military boots and is in talks with Colombia and Ecuador, he said.


But retail experts say the shoe might be a tough sale to brand-conscious kids.


"If (parents) can get their kids to wear them, then certainly there is a marketplace. But I think the biggest challenge is overcoming ... the cool marketplace," said Lee Diercks, managing director of New Jersey-based Clear Thinking Group, an advisory firm for retailers.


The GPS sneakers, available in six designs, resemble most other running shoes. The two silver buttons — one to activate and one to cancel — are inconspicuous near the shoelaces.


The company is selling 1,000 limited-edition shoes online and already has orders for 750, Daniel said.


Parents who buy the pricey kicks don't have to worry about their kids outgrowing them fast. This fall, the company is unveiling a plug-and-wear version that allows wearers to remove the electronics module from their old shoes and plug it into another pair of Daniel's sneaks.


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