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Kid’s safety education resources available

Posted 4/23/2014   Updated 4/23/2014 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Josh Eikren
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

4/23/2014 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- In light of the recent possible child abduction attempt in Scott Air Force Base housing April 16, the youth programs wanted to remind parents and children of ways to prevent dangerous situations.

A man in a van had approached two 8-year-old girls, asking them if they wanted to see a box of money inside his van. The girls responded by saying they did not know him, left the scene and immediately notified their parents.

"It is always important that parents are having conversations with their children so they know what to do if they are approached by a stranger," said Kelly Calloway, 375th Force Support Squadron. "There are activities available for children that will teach them what to do in different situations. The Youth Center offers activities like Kids in Control, Smart Girls, Smart Movies and Passport to Manhood. These sessions include how to avoid dangerous situations away from home and how to use a "check first" and buddy system."

In addition to the offerings at the Youth Center, a "Stranger Danger" class will be offered soon.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, the most important way parents can protect their children is to teach them to be wary of potentially dangerous situations--this will help them when dealing with strangers and adults who may not have good intentions.

NCPC Stranger Safety Tips

Know where your children are at all times. Make it a rule that your children must ask permission or check in with you before going anywhere. Give your children your work and cell phone numbers so they can reach you at all times.

Point out safe places. Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if there's trouble.

Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and tell an adult. Tell them that sometimes adults they know may make them feel uncomfortable, and they should still get away as fast as possible and tell another adult what happened.

Teach your children to be assertive. Make sure they know that it's okay to say no to an adult and to run away from adults in dangerous situations.

Encourage your children to play with others. There's safety in numbers.

Children and parents should also be prepared and talk about what to do in situations while kids are home alone. The NCPC has questions that parents can ask themselves to help determine if their children are ready.

Can your children?

Be trusted to go straight home after school or after playing at a neighbor's house?

Easily use the telephone, locks, and kitchen appliances?

Follow rules and instructions well?

Handle unexpected situations without panicking?

Stay home alone without being afraid?

Say their full name, address, and telephone number?

NCPC Home Alone Tips

Stay in touch. Call children throughout the day to ask how they are and what they are doing.
Ask children to check in before and after they leave the house.

Keep kids connected. Post important numbers by the telephone, including parent's work and cell phone, the doctor's office, and a neighbor or a nearby relative.

Practice what to do in an emergency. Teach children how to dial 911 or "0" and when to do it.
Ask questions like "If someone is trying to get in the house, what should you do?" "If you get hurt, what should you do?"

Set firm rules. Make clear what children are allowed to do and what they aren't allowed to do.

Base Crime Stop

Capt. Daniel Norwood, 375th SFS operations officer, said, "Just like the girls recognized that there was something not right about the man approaching them, parents and the base population should never hesitate to call the Crime Stop hotline (256-1160) if they think something illegal could be taking place. Security is a team effort, and we appreciate the base population being proactive and calling when something threatens that security. We would always rather be safe than sorry."

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