Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What You Can Do to Keep Your Kids Safe

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The safety of children and families is a priority for communities around the world. A few months ago we talked about the importance teaching children of every age how to be safe. The Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center encourages family safety nights twice a year to discuss different situations a child may face. The Gundersen Center helped to create the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center (JWRC), after Jacobs disappearance in 1989. These programs are working together to end child maltreatment through education, training, and prevention. 

The mission of JWRC is to “educate and assist families and communities to address and prevent the exploitation of children.” As parents and community members, we play a role in the safety of the children around us. The Gundersen Center wants to help guide parents to teach their children and teens about personal safety.
Check first
Children should check-in with parents and caregivers before going anywhere.
Hang-out in groups
Children and teens should go places and spend time in groups. Parents should have names and contact information of those they spend time with.
Trust your instincts
Teach your children to recognize their gut instincts, and how it is important to leave a situation if they feel like something is wrong. 
Talk about all secrets
Let your child know that keeping a secrete is a red flag for a situation, and they should talk to you immediately. 
Say no, get away, tell an adults
Talk to your child about saying no to an adult if the adult is trying to confuse or harm them.
Know all about you
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Make sure your child knows your phone number and address, along with any other parent or caregiver. School information and 9-1-1 is also important for your child to be aware of.
Online safety
Teach children about not giving out personal information over the internet, or meeting people online. 
Safety List
Help your child create a list of at least five trusted adults and their phone numbers for them to contact if they need help or guidance. 

We encourage you to have a family safety night, and teach your children about staying safe in "what if" scenarios.

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