Teach Your Child About Safety
If you are a parent you have probably experienced some anxiety over how to teach your child to stay safe. If only there were a handbook that parents could use to discuss safety with their children. Well, there is an excellent resource for kids and parents that deals with the issue of staying safe. The best environment for teaching your child about safety is in your home. Start early in your child’s life, and continue to reinforce safety principles throughout his or her childhood. The link below will take you to The Safety Kids Program website, which provides safety tips and talking points that you can discuss with your child.
Computers, tablets, and smartphones have provided instant access the internet, social media sites, and chat rooms. Unfortunately, child predators have access to these as well. Children and teenagers are generally naïve to the dangers that can be present online. It is important that parents monitor their child’s internet activity. Below are some resources that provide information on how to protect your child from online predators.
You have probably been in a store with your child when all of a sudden you turn around and your child is nowhere in sight. There are no words to describe the feeling a parent has when this happens. Thankfully, in most cases your little one had simply ducked around the end of an aisle or a clothing rack. What do you do if your child is actually missing?
1. Immediately call your local law enforcement agency.
2. If your child is missing from home, search through:
- Piles of laundry
- In and under beds
- Inside large appliances
- Vehicles – including trunks
- Anywhere else a child may crawl or hide
3. Notify the store manager or security office if your child cannot be found when in a store. Then immediately call your local law enforcement agency. Many stores have a Code Adam plan of action in place.
4. After you have reported your child missing to law enforcement, call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST(1-800-843-5678).
When you call law enforcement:
* Provide law enforcement with your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight and descriptions of any other unique identifiers such as eyeglasses and braces. Tell them when you noticed your child was missing and what clothing he or she was wearing.
* Request law enforcement authorities immediately enter your child’s name and identifying information into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center Missing Person File.
More information on missing children can be found at the links below.
Child Sexual Exploitation
In addition to teaching your child general safety principles, it can be a good idea to make yourself aware of the presence of individuals who have been convicted of sex crimes. The State of Wisconsin maintains a Sex Offender Registry, which maintains current information on all individuals who are required to register as a result of a conviction for a sex crime. The registry is searchable by name or geographic location. A link to the registry is below.
If you have information that a child is being sexually exploited, you should report the information to your local law enforcement agency. You can also report the information to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children using their CyberTipline.