As a parent, keeping your children safe is undoubtedly a top priority. That includes at home and in your neighborhood. Whether your family just moved into a new community or you’ve lived in the same home for years, check out these simple tips from the National Crime Prevention Council to help you protect your kids and your neighborhood:
Know where your children are. Have your children tell you or ask permission before leaving the house, and give them a time to check in or be home. When possible, have them leave a phone number of where they’ll be.
Help children learn important phone numbers. Have your children practice reciting their home phone number and address, as well as your work and cellphone numbers. If they have trouble memorizing these, write them down on a card and have them carry it at all times. Always tell your children where you’ll be and the best way to reach you.
Set limits on where your children can go in your neighborhood. Do you want them crossing busy roads? Playing in alleys or abandoned buildings? Are there certain homes in your neighborhood that you don’t want your children to go to?
Get to know your children’s friends. Meet their parents before letting your children go to their home, and keep a list of their phone numbers. If you can’t meet their parents, call and talk to them. Ask what your children might do at their house and if they’ll be supervised.
Choose a safe house in your neighborhood. Pick a neighbor’s house where your children can go if they need help. Point out other places they can go for help, such as stores, libraries and police stations.
Teach children to settle arguments with words, not fists. Role-play talking out problems, walking away from fist fights and what to do when confronted with bullies. Remind them that taunting and teasing can hurt friends and make enemies.
Work together with your neighbors. Watch out for suspicious and unusual behavior in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors and their children so you can look out for one another.
By following these tips, you can have more peace of mind knowing that your children can play in and enjoy your neighborhood safely.