The following are some guidelines that may assist you and your child reduce opportunities for criminal behavior.
1. Know who your child plays with and where they go. This includes keeping a list of their friends addresses and phone numbers.
2. Do not leave your child in unsupervised locations, such as cars, parks, public washrooms, arenas, parks and plazas, etc.
3. Tell your child never to go anywhere with a stranger, not to talk to strangers and never take anything from them. You also have to teach them what a “safe stranger” is in case they need help. A safe stranger includes a police officer, a cashier, a fire fighter, etc.
4. Teach your child where to go and how to get help. Go with them on their regularly traveled routes and find out where the pay telephones are and show your child how to use 9-1-1 for emergencies.
5. Develop a “what if” game for the kids to get them thinking of how they would respond if they felt afraid.
6. Your child’s body is private. Tell your child that no one may touch the area that his or her bathing suit covers. If someone tries to touch them, they should say “NO” and advise you immediately.
7. Teach your child to talk to you immediately when someone does anything that makes them feel strange or uncomfortable. Listen when your child is trying to tell you about something that bothers them and provide them with support and understanding.
8. Watch for changes in your child’s behavior as it could indicate something is wrong. i.e.: hesitation to go with certain people; loss of appetite; withdrawal or depression; aggressiveness, etc.
9. Go with your child to the bus stop and meet them when they return from school.
10. Encourage your child to use a buddy system instead of walking alone.
Try to have it prearranged that if an emergency occurs a specific person your child already knows will pick them up.
If you would like to speak with a police officer or need more information please contact our Community Policing Officer who will connect you with the appropriate personnel.