Educating Children on Personal Safety
These guidelines may educate both parents and children on personal safety, and may also prevent a tragedy. The guidelines are provided by Lieutenant Nancy Burns from the Leon County Sheriff's Department, Crime Prevention Unit. Lieutenant Burns may be reached by e-mail at:BURNSN@mail.co.leon.fl.us

1. Rehearse with your children their full name, address and telephone number. Teach them how to make emergency calls.

2. Have children avoid hanging out around lonely parks, woods, parking lots or even school yards late after school. Work out the best route to school or other places they go to often and then have them stick with this route.

3.Teach your children to pay attention to what is going on around them at all times.

4.Play games such as "What if" to help a child think about dangerous situations. Design role plays using situations that might be tempting or confusing to help him/her decide the best protective action. (example someone looking for a lost puppy in the park) (example-being touched on private parts by anyone).

5. Teach your children to never accept a ride from anyone they don't know.

6. Do not approach a vehicle to talk to the occupants. Stay back away from the vehicle. If an occupant gets out, immediately run to a safe place. Run the opposite way if possible.

7. Make sure your child knows their neighborhood and knows where to go if there is an emergency.

8. When personalizing clothing or backpacks, make sure your child's name is not visible to strangers who could use the information to confuse your child and lure them away.

9. Monitor your child's computer use. Make sure the areas they are going into are safe for children. If they use chat programs learn who they are communicating with. Advise them to never give out personal information online. Also, tell them to never arrange to meet with anyone they meet online.

10. If someone appears interested in your child - or too good to be true- they probably are. Remember child predators are good at the art of coercion. They will attempt to befriend your child and win their confidence.

11. Teach them to say "No" if someone they don't know asks them to go to anywhere with them. Let your children know that it is okay to say "no" to an adult, especially in a dangerous situation.

12. If they are grabbed by someone trying to abduct them, instruct them to yell, scream, kick, scratch, bite, fall to the ground, do anything to draw attention from bystanders. Yell "This is not my mommy (or Daddy)" keep yelling.

13. NEVER GIVE UP! Keep fighting to get away. For additional information on child safety tips, please contact 1-888-FL Missing.