The holiday season is almost here, and your kids will be looking forward to their camps, trips and other exciting activities. But don’t panic about their safety! There are many ways to protect your children from unwanted situations.
1. Know their friends
Sleepovers, birthday parties or trips out of town? Make sure you meet their friends and their parents before you agree to any such activities. Exchange phone numbers with other parents, and teach your child to check in with you every now and then.
2. Teach them how to stand up to a bully
Prepare a little roleplay with your kids and teach them how to react when someone tries to intimidate them. They should not get involved in discussions or be encouraged to use swear words; walk away instead of resorting to violence. Staying safe is more important than politeness, and that’s why your children need to be assertive.
3. If in danger, look for another parent
A police officer or other authority may not always be available. If your child feels threatened, teach them to find a (grand)parent with kids. It’s almost certain that they will do their best to help another child in need.
4. Drop the name tags
It’s nice having a backpack with the child’s name on it, but it can be used by strangers. If the child is called by its name, it can think that the stranger is a family member or a friend and trusts them immediately.
5. Helmets and protectors
Always demand they wear a helmet, and knee and elbow protectors. Even a simple bike ride or skateboarding trip may end up with a fall. Remember that a helmet prevents 90% of head injuries.
6. Go through the commuting route with them
If your child needs to take public transport, go with them a few times and let them learn the route. After that, allow them to go with their friends. Always expect a message before and after travel. Teach them how to act in case of strangers talking to them, being mugged, etc. Safety always comes first.
7. Protect the child’s bag
What does your child carry in their bag: wallet, home keys, documents? Make sure they won’t get lost. You can use Woolet Tracker. Just tag the zipper or keychain, or put it somewhere hidden inside, and you’ll be able to monitor your child’s activity through a mobile app. If the bag gets lost or stolen, you’ll be able to easily check it’s last known location.
8. Card for joint account
If your child uses a card, connect it to an account you have access to. That will allow you to monitor expenses and, if you see something weird, block the card immediately.
9. Write down your phone number for them
In case of emergency, your child needs your phone number written in a few places: wallet, notebook, etc. The child may lose their phone or forget a number learnt by heart, and it always needs alternatives.
10. Don’t be overprotective!
That might sound as unusual tip, but freaking out every time your children leave home will drive both you and them mad. Kids need to learn independence and how to take care of themselves. Those skills will be crucial in the future! Teach your child about safety to raise a responsible teenager and future adult.