Opposites truly do attract because when it comes to safety, my husband and I are on opposite ends. While he would be the one jumping out of airplanes and believing a little rough and tumble freedom does a child well, I’m over here ready to put them in a bubble and protect them from EVERYTHING. With that being said, we have put together a list of things that we can both agree are important in keeping our children safe.
I now realize what I thought at the time was my Mom’s irrational fear, was very valid. Just turn on the news and you get a healthy dose of reality. Although I would love to believe in the good of the world, I also want to be prepared.
If you stop and think of all the information that you know that keeps you safe it’s a little overwhelming. There are a few basic things that children need to know in order to give them the best help possible in an emergency.
Things to Memorize
At the age of three, or even younger depending on the development of your child, it is important to start practicing and helping them memorize important pieces of information to help keep them safe.
Mom and Dad’s Full Name
Children not only need to know their full name but they also need to know their parent’s full name. If they are ever lost or separated from you, this information will help other people assist them in finding you.
The Main Phone Number
Although your child might not carry their own phone, chances are there will be someone around them with a cell phone they could use. It is so important that they know your number so that if there was an emergency or if they are separated from you, they could contact you. We made up a silly little rhythmic tune and chunk the numbers together to make it easier to remember.
It is so important for children to be able to tell emergency personnel where they live. If something has happened to you, they need to be able to locate your house. Chunk the address into smaller parts or practice it in little sections so that it isn’t too overwhelming.
Allergies or Health Concerns For Them and Family Members
A child needs to know if they have any allergies or health conditions. At a young age, we need them to start advocating for themselves and being cognizant of these things. It can also be important for them to know other health concerns for other members of the family in case they need to relay that message to those that are trying to help.
A code word is a word that your family knows and recognizes as a word they use when they are feeling unsafe or need help. This word allows you to discretely remove the child from the situation without drawing attention to what is happening. A codeword can also be used in situations where someone says they are sent to pick up your child. If the person offering them a ride doesn’t know the code word then the child will know that should seek out help.
Take a look at how one father started the X Plan for his family to help them feel safe and avoid uncomfortable situations.
Tips and Trick to Keep Kids Safe
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children “attempted abductions happen more often when a child is going to and from school or school-related activities. The risk was greatest for school-age children on school days before (7-9am) and after school (3-4pm) and again after dinner time (6-7pm)”.
AngelSense is a wearable GPS locator for children especially those with special needs. Not only can you see where your child is but you can also use their AngelCall 2-way voice to talk to your child. It can also give you peace of mind because you are able to hear what is happening in class, on the bus, or anywhere. This is especially useful for those children having issues while on the bus. And for an added bonus, you will know exactly when the bus is arriving and when you should expect your child!
To purchase an AngelSense Guardian Kit visit angelsense.com/ihelpmoms and use the “ihelpmoms” discount code for $50 off your kit!
The days of simply picking up the phone and dialing 9-1-1 are over. With the development of cell phones comes a whole new component to learning to dial 9-1-1. First off, each cell phone is different which can be challenging even for some adults. Take for example the iPhone 7 or older, in order for a child to call for help on a locked phone they must push the HOME button, tap emergency, dial 9-1-1, and press the green button to call. I highly advise going through all of these steps numerous times so that your child is fluent in how to call for help.
Also, Apple has now announced a new SOS feature for newer phones that you can check out!
With an older phone such as mine, you can repeatedly push the power button until a screen pops up with an Emergency SOS slide button. This might also be a great option to teach your children.
If Lost…Find a Mom with Children
It is so easy to get lost in a crowd of people. Parks, like these amazing ones in the MN Twin Cities, are enough to make any Mom’s anxiety level rise sky high. Whenever we are out in a location that has a lot of people and a chance of getting separated, the first thing I do is establish a meeting location. I point out something that is easy to spot. I remind them that if they can’t find me to go to that spot and I will meet them there. The second thing I always talk to them about is to find a mom with children and ask her for help. Most likely that mom will be an understanding, safe person to help them.
Get Rid of the Personalized Items
Personalized items are fun and cute but they give predators crucial information and jeopardize the safety of our children. Predators are able to act like they know your child just from reading the name on a backpack, lunch box or clothing item.
Acting out situations where strangers approach them and act like they know them might help your child have the tools to feel confident in a situation like this. This would be a great time to practice your families’ code word.
Teach children to be cognizant about changing discretely and respecting their privacy. Absolutely no one should be touching you in places where your swimsuit covers. If anyone touches you or tells you to keep a secret, tell an adult right away!
Guidelines to Establish
- Secrets Aren’t Okay-If anyone tells them to keep a secret from a parent, then it is probably because it is something bad and needs to be shared with a trusted adult.
- Always check with Mom or Dad before going anywhere with anyone…even if they say that “It’s okay with your parents”.
- It’s okay to say “NO” or not be polite when you are in a situation that is scary or uncomfortable.
- Unbuckle and honk the horn-If you are ever left in a car that is hot or if you are in a car and aren’t safe, unbuckle and honk the horn. I’ve taught my children at a young age how to unbuckle their own car seats so that they can get out if need be. We have a Bucklebee for each seat which has been a life-saver in getting them to independently unbuckle.
- Hand on the side- Parking lots and little one’s safety can be a Mother’s nightmare. From little on we have a spot on the car that the child must put their hand while they are waiting for us to get the other ones out. (A car magnet can be a great way to mark this spot.) This keeps them right by me and elevates the risk of them running wondering into the parking lot or getting hit but inattentive drivers.
- Watch for cars in driveways- It took many years before my own Mom let me ride my bike around the block. I now understand a little bit more as to why that was. She knew my biking skills were up to par, that wasn’t the issue. The real issue was the driveways. People often fly in and out of their driveway with barely a backward glance. Even with the development of backup cameras, I still find it so important to coach my children to watch driveways and keep an eye out for the backup lights on a car.
- NEVER HIDE!
- Firefighters may look or sound scary but they are there to help! If you can, show them what the outfit looks and sounds like.
- Get out and meet at a common location. Practice getting low to the ground and getting out as quickly as possible. Make sure they know to go right to the meeting place.
- Once you are out, STAY OUT! Nothing is worth going back in for.
I must add that we haven’t hit the internet safety since we are not at that stage in life. That has its own set of safety rules and guidelines. Without being at that stage, I don’t feel comfortable sharing tips.
Mom-anxiety is a real thing for so many reasons! We have precious little lives that we must teach and protect. Our job is challenging. There are so many responsibilities weighing on us. Hopefully, these tips can help us all remember the big things that we need our children to know to stay safe.