child safety

Safety Tips for School and Play

  • Encourage children to walk and play with friends, not alone. Tell them to avoid places that could be dangerous - vacant buildings, alleys, new construction, wooded areas, etc.
  • Make sure children take the safest routs to and from school, stores, and friends house.
  • Teach children to walk confidently and to be alert to what's going on around them.
  • Tell children to avoid strangers who may hang around playgrounds, public restrooms, empty buildings, etc.
  • Teach children to always take the same way home.
  • Children should not walk next to curbs.
  • Children should not play alone on the playground.
  • Children should not wear expensive jewelry or clothing to school.
  • A child should check in with a parent or trusted neighbor as soon as they arrive home from school.
  • Parents should take time to listen carefully to children's fears and feelings about people or places that scare them or make them feel uneasy. Tell them to trust their instincts. Take complaints about bullies seriously.
  • Children should be taught to settle arguments with words, not fists or weapons.
  • Children should be taught never to take guns, knives, or other weapons to school. They should be taught to tell a school official immediately if they see another student with a gun, knife, or other weapon.

Did You Know

  • Smoking accounts for one-third of all heart disease deaths?
  • The two most damaging chemicals found in cigarettes are tar and nicotine? The major cancer-causing chemical in tobacco smoke is tar, and nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
  • The risk of developing cancer is 10 times greater for smokers than for non-smokers. That's what you call a bad risk!
  • Smoking causes 85% of all lung cancer deaths, and lung cancer is the #1 killer of women?
  • People who smoke one pack of cigarettes a day decrease their life expectancy by about six years?
  • Tobacco companies spend over $3 billion every year on advertisements that glamorize smoking?
  • Smoking hurts your lungs and can cause respiratory conditions such as emphysema, bronchitis, chronic coughs, and a sore throat. Smoking makes it hard for a person to breathe.
  • Tobacco companies need to recruit 1,200 new smokers every day to replace the over 400,000 people that die every year from tobacco related illnesses.
  • If you do not start smoking before age 18, there is an 88% chance that you will never start. If you make it to age 21 and haven't started smoking, there is a 95% chance that you will never start. Because of these facts, tobacco companies gear their advertising towards kids.
  • A pack a day smoker will spend approximately $1,820 a year on cigarettes.

Keeping Boredom at Bay

  • Put on a play - You and your friends can write a script, create a scenery using old cardboard boxes, make costumes, and then invite friends and family to the performance.
  • Go on field trips - To the local zoo, museums and other places of interest in your area. Plan your field trips with a small group of friends and designate one or two parents per trip.
  • Camp out in your backyard - Get out your sleeping bags and sleep under the stars! Have a parent help with grilling dinner, including making s'mores for dessert! Don't forget the flashlights and scary stories!
  • Go on a "bug safari" - in your backyard or nearby park. A book on insects from your local library can help you identify the different types of bugs you find. Take along a notebook or drawing pad to keep records of your safari.
  • Take classes - An art class or creative writing course is a great way to continue learning in a FUN way!
  • Do volunteer work - in a nearby hospital, retirement home, homeless shelter or other facility. You will be helping people in new ways and feel good about yourself!

10 Things Kids can do to Stop Violence

  1. Settle arguments with words, not fists or weapons. Don't stand around and form an audience when others are arguing. A group makes a good target for violence.
  2. Learn safe routes for walking in the neighborhood, and know good places to seek help. Trust feelings, and if there's a sense of danger, get away fast.
  3. Report crimes or suspicious actions to the police, school authorities and parents. Be willing to testify if needed.
  4. Don't open the door to anyone that you do not know and trust.
  5. Never go anywhere with someone you do not know and trust.
  6. If someone tries to abuse you, say no, get away and tell a trusted adult. Remember, it is not the victim's fault.
  7. Don't use alcohol or other drugs, and stay away from places and people associated with them.
  8. Stick with friends who are against violence and drugs, and stay away from known trouble spots.
  9. Get involved in making school safer and better by having poster contests against violence, holding anti-drug rallies, counseling peers, settling disputes peacefully. If there's no program, help start one.
  10. Help younger children learn to avoid being crime victims. Set a good example, and volunteer to help with community efforts to stop crime.

Reading Suggestions

  • Cyber.kdz Series by Bruce Balan
  • Danger.com Series by Jordan Cray
  • The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis
  • Goosebumps 2000 Series by R.L. Stine
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • The Animorphs Series by K.A. Applegate
  • The Great Brain Series by John D. Fitzgerald
  • The Baby-Sitters Club Series by Ann M. Martin