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Age-Specific Safety Tips for Children

Ages 2-4
1. Teach your children their names, addresses, and telephone numbers, including area code. Your children should know how to use the phone number, as well as "911" or "0" for "operator" in emergencies. You may wish to pre-program your home telephone with an emergency number so children only have to remember to dial one digit.
2. Teach your children that Mom and Dad have other names too. Make sure they know your first and last names.
3. Teach your children never to go anywhere with anyone without checking first with supervising adult such as a parent, teacher, or babysitter.
4. Teach your children to stay at your side in public places and never to leave the store if they are lost. Explain to your children that people who stand at a cash register and take money work for the store. Teach your children to go to these people if they are scared or lost and they will know how to find you.
5. Teach your children never to go with anyone who doesn't know a family code word.
6. Teach your children to play within your sight.
7. Never leave children this age alone in a car--not even for a minute.

Ages 4-7
1. Have your child practice the buddy system when going anywhere. There is safety in numbers.
2. Caution your child against playing in deserted areas. Remind him or her to stay on the main road.
3. Teach your children they do not always have to be polite to adults. If they sense danger, make a scene and yell for help; "Help! This is not my mom/dad!" and run away.
4. Explain to your children that abductors are sometimes people they know.
5. Beware of any adult who gives lots of attention or gifts. If any adult is making the child feel uncomfortable, teach your child to come and tell you.
6. Begin to make your children aware of their surroundings so that they become used to taking notice of details and recognizing safe places.
7. Teach your child the facts of abduction early. If handled simply as another fact of life or as another coping skill, children need not be frightened.
8. Help build you child's self esteem. Children who are confident and feel loved are less often lured by abductors.
9. Never leave children this age alone in a car--not even for a minute.

Ages 7-10
1. Identify safe places and people in your neighborhood or on route to school where your children might go to find help if needed. Let them know that if they are afraid, they should go to these places.
2. Establish solid communication with your children. Develop open dialogue so they are able to confide in you in case of trouble.
3. Teach your child to avoid people they don't know. Make sure they know to never get into a car with anyone without your permission.
4. When going out shopping or to a park, designate with your child a specific place to meet if you and your child become separated.
5. Never leave children this age alone in a car--not even for a minute.

Ages 10-14
1. Teach your children never to open the door to anyone while at home alone, including salespeople or delivery people.
2. Explain to your child never to answer the phone and tell the caller that he/she is home alone. Give your child a prepared statement such as "Daddy/Mommy cannot come to the phone right now…can I take a message?"
3. Teach children that adults do not usually ask children directions. If someone should stop in a car asking for directions, tell your child not to approach the car, and to run away immediately.
4. Teach older children to come home before dark, and to check in if they have a change in plans.

Ages 14-18
1. Be aware of your child's friends, their parent's names and phone numbers.
2. Know your child's schedule and the activities they participate in after school. Ask your child to always call home if their routine changes.
3. Caution you child about adults who might try to recruit him/her to carry packages out to a car or suggest that the child come with him or her for any reason. Abductors may flatter your child or offer money to accompany them under a false pretense.
4. Build open and honest communications with your child.