public places

Six Tips to Help Children Stay Safe in Public Places

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Based in Burien, Washington, MY ID CLUB supplies children with identification cards containing medical and personal information that first responders may use in case of an injury or missing child. MY ID CLUB operates through support from the community and the King County Police Union, and participates in various child safety events and initiatives. The following list includes safety tips for caretakers and children.

1. Establish open communication. Encourage children to trust their intuition and inform a trusted adult when a stranger makes them feel uncomfortable. Emphasize the importance of honesty and the risks of secret-keeping.

2. Memorize personal information. Make sure your child knows his or her address, phone number, full name, and other important personal information by heart. In addition, teach children to use the phone during an emergency situation and how to dial 911.

3. Review “stranger danger” risks. Discuss the risks of approaching or speaking with strangers with your children. The discussion should cover subjects such as how to call for help, what to do if approached by a stranger, how to refuse gifts or requests for assistance, and the importance of the buddy system.

4. Create a separation plan. Develop a plan with your child on what to do if they became separated from you in a public place. Avoid using parking lots or the car as meeting places, and stick to areas indoors and places with noticeable security.

5. Form neighborhood safety systems. Connect with other parents in your neighborhood and set up a safety system. Familiarize children with the families within the system and where their homes are located.

6. Take advantage of free child safety programs. Child safety programs that provide identification cards, teach safety instructions, or offer after-school supervision supply children and families with vital resources for staying safe.