It is never too early or too late to teach children the importance of personal safety.
Personal safety is a combination of common sense, communication and consistency. Children should be aware of certain information and how to deal with situations for their personal safety.
Children should know:
- Their name, age, telephone number, address, city and province. Create a rhyme or song to help them remember this information.
- How to contact their parents at any time. Have them memorize cell or work numbers.
- How and under what circumstances to call 911.
- To never approach or enter a stranger’s vehicle. A responsible adult would never ask a child for directions or any other question.
- Make sure children know they have a right to say “no” to an adult, especially when the adult is asking them to do something they have been taught is wrong or feels uncomfortable. Reminding children of this right is important because children are taught from a young age to respect adults.
- To always tell parents where they will be and to never enter someone’s home without their parent’s permission.
- If home alone, never share this information when answering the phone. Never answer a knock at the door or speak through it. Adults can be very persuasive. Teach your child to call you if there is a knock at the door and if they fear for their safety, or to call 911. Make sure they know that police officers are there to help them and would not get mad if it were a false alarm.
- If children think they are being followed or are in danger they should run home or to a public place. If someone grabs them, they should try to get away, yelling and screaming while doing so.
- It is important to play in safe areas, never take shortcuts and stick with a buddy whenever possible.
Remind children to alert a responsible adult if something strange happens that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility.
This information is provided by Toronto Police Services.
Publication Date: March 2017