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Most parents want to educate their children about crime and safety, but they don't know how. Remember, you probably can't tell a child too much. Parents who talk openly with their children will be approachable ("askable") parents, and children will feel more comfortable in bringing their worries and concerns to them in the future.

Keeping your family safe

Every child and teen should know…

  • His or her address and telephone number.
  • The telephone number or address of where they will be going, and to share that with you.
  • Where to go in an emergency.
  • Not to talk to strangers.
  • Never to get into a stranger's car.
  • Never to accept candy or gifts from strangers.
  • To always play in safe places.

Tips to help keep your kids safe...

  • Keep and regularly update a complete written description of your child.
  • Take a color photograph of your child every six months.
  • Arrange to have your child fingerprinted and keep the fingerprint card in a safe place.
  • Know where your child is at all times.
  • Know their friends and be familiar with their daily activities.
  • Have your child or teen leave the phone number of where they will be in case of emergency.
  • Know what your child is wearing whenever they leave the house.
  • Don't allow them to wear clothing that has their name or other personal information visible to others.
  • Notice if an adult or teenager is paying an unusual amount of attention to your children or gives them inappropriate or expensive gifts.
  • Teach your children to trust their feelings.
  • Let them know it's okay to say NO to things they feel are wrong.
  • Never belittle any fear or concern your child has, real or imaginary.
  • Tell your child that anything that makes him or her uncomfortable or suspicious should be reported immediately to you and to school officials.
  • Teach your children that the police are their friends and they can rely on them if they are in trouble.
  • Agree on safe walking and biking areas.
  • Make sure your child travels with others to and from school; kids in groups are generally safer.

Tips from:

National Crime Prevention Council
1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW
13th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
www.ncpc.org