Family matters: Safe through summer - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Family matters: Safe through summer

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Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 3:57 pm | Updated: 7:27 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

When it comes to your children’s safety, it’s never too early to lecture them on avoiding contact with strangers.

When it comes to your children’s safety, it’s never too early to lecture them on avoiding contact with strangers.

It’s a message that should be reinforced with children often, no matter their age, says detective Diana Tapia of the Mesa Police Department.

With summer break in full swing, now is a good time to sit down with your family and go over a few basic, lifesaving rules.

Tapia offers parents and caregivers the following tips:

• Instruct your child never speak to a stranger.

• Tell them to never accept a ride from someone.

• If the child is old enough, establish a secret password in the event you need to send a relative or friend to get them in the event of an emergency.

• Child predators often lure children with candy, money and toys. Tell your children never to accept anything from a stranger or follow them for those items.

• Tell your child to scream and make a lot of noise if someone is attempting to grab them. They should do anything they need to, to get away from the stranger.

• If your child sees anyone suspicious nearby, they should go to the nearest adult in charge and tell them.

• In case of an emergency, make sure your child knows their full name, your full name, their home address and phone number. If a child is too young to be able to retain that information, make sure they have ID that contains it.

As your child gets older, don’t get lulled into thinking you don’t need to continue reminding them to avoid contact with strangers.

• If you have a teenage child, Tapia says it’s important to make sure they are aware of their surroundings, even if they are visiting places they have been to many times before or in a neighborhood not far from home.

• Advise your teen not to listen to portable music players while walking, jogging or biking. Music can easily distract them, says Tapia, decreasing their alertness to what’s going on around them.

• If an attacker wants your possessions, give up the items rather than engage in a struggle.

• If a stranger looks suspicious, make note of their physical description, anything that might help identify them, and then call the police.

  • Discuss

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