Happy International Youth Day! August 12th is dedicated to bringing awareness to the cultural and legal issues surrounding youth across the globe. Young people face a wide variety of challenges worldwide, and adults should strive to uplift them as future leaders. Cultivating a strong community of children can start now by ensuring their safety from a young age. You can take many precautions to protect your child, like creating code words, giving them the Silent Beacon personal safety device, and setting up their devices with the Silent Beacon kids safety app. Follow our 10 kids safety tips and practice with your family to create a greater youth community worldwide.
One of the essential kids safety tips is to, from a very young age, be able to recite their full name, parent’s names and phone numbers and their home address during emergency situations. This information can help emergency personnel or trusted adults assist a child in need of help. For younger children, try creating a song to the rhythm of a popular tune to help them memorize a phone number or address. Remind your children that this information is only for trusted adults, not random strangers.
The Silent Beacon wearable panic button is a necessity for children’s safety. During a dangerous situation, they can use Silent Beacon to call any preset number including 911 while sending multiple contacts to their live GPS location. Silent Beacon uses a smartphone’s GPS to send their location in real-time via text, email, and push notifications to the people who can help in an emergency. This is one of the kids safety tips that adds a whole extra layer of safety, enabling contacts to find them if they are incapacitated or unable to talk. The device is simple enough for a child to use; just one push of the button and help is on the way. Children can easily access their Silent Beacon by attaching the panic button to their backpack, lanyard, or belt loop.
In addition to the Silent Beacon device, it could be beneficial to install and set up the Silent Beacon kids safety app on all devices your child has access to. This kids safety app allows you to set up emergency contacts just like the Silent Beacon wearable panic button and gives your child the ability to get help if they don’t have their button on them.
Many families have a code word to use during last-minute changes or in emergency situations. International Youth Day is the perfect opportunity to establish a code word for your family. For example, if Mom is running late for school pick-up and needs her friend Jessica to pick up the children, having a family code word is the perfect way for children to recognize that this is a trusted adult and their safety is at risk or not. When Jessica arrives to pick up the kids, they can ask her for the family code word before getting in the car with her that way they know they are safe.
Next on our list of important kids safety tips is to teach your kids is that keeping ‘body secrets’ is never okay and that they should tell you when an adult has asked them to keep a secret about their body. It is inappropriate for any adult to ask children to keep body secrets, and by explaining this to your kids, you can be alerted to any potentially dangerous adults around them.
‘Stranger danger’ is one of the most common tips for child safety. However, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are shying away from using this term. It is more helpful to teach kids that they can talk to a stranger in certain circumstances, but they should never go anywhere with a stranger. By teaching children that all strangers are bad, a child might not be comfortable asking an adult for help in a dangerous situation. Instead, teach them warning signs for ‘bad’ strangers, such as people they don’t know offering them food or trying to pick them up from school without their family code word.
It’s important to teach your kids that if they ever get lost they should stay where they are and look for people around them to help. Many parents teach their children to look for police officers in this situation but often police aren’t available at that exact moment. Because of this, consider teaching your children to look for mothers that have children with them. These women are typically able to comfort the child while calling for help. Remind your children that it will be safer for them to stay still until you find them rather than roaming alone.
Kids are using technology at much younger ages now, so it is important to remind them of digital safety measures. One of the most imperative kids safety tips is for parents to teach their kids to refrain from putting personal information online. Tell your children that they should not enter/post their name, phone number, email address or home address unless they get their parent’s permission first. Have regular conversations with your children about online safety as new websites and apps are available every day.
Teach your children the phrase: “I’m uncomfortable with you touching me”. If they don’t like it when someone is touching them, they can use this phrase to draw boundaries. Touching of some kind is inevitable, like when a camp counselor holds your child’s hand as they cross the street or when a teacher helps clean a scrape of the knee. This child safety phrase can help differentiate what kinds of touching they are comfortable with and teaches your kid about consent. A general rule to teach your kids is that people they don’t know should not be touching them and that they can yell for help if an adult they don’t know is trying to touch them.
Street safety is a critical concept all children should learn. Young children should always be supervised when playing outside, but accidents can happen even with parents present. Practice crossing the street and looking both ways with your child. The more you practice how to cross the street correctly, the sooner they will form this child safety habit.
The buddy system is a commonly used child safety tool taught in schools to increase social interaction and connection in classrooms, but it is also a safe practice. Anybody can be a buddy, whether that be your dad, sister, grandma or friend. For example, if your kid wants to go to the park down the street, they have to take a buddy. The buddy system will teach your child to never wander off alone and to stick together in case of an emergency.
Investing in your children’s safety starts with a few simple steps. Teaching them their essential information, downloading the Silent Beacon kids safety app and having them carry the Silent Beacon wearable panic button is a great start. For International Youth Day, support and uplift your children by teaching them safety practices they can implement in their everyday lives.