No neighborhood is completely immune to crime or accidents, but there are steps you can take to help keep your family and neighborhood safe.
Here are a few ideas:
Know where your children are. Train your children to tell you where they are going or ask permission before leaving the house. Give them a time to check in or be home. When possible, have them leave a phone number of where they will be. Get to know your children’s friends, where they live and who their parents are. Showing interest at a young age helps to prevent possible undesirable consequences down the line.
Help children learn important phone numbers. Have your children practice reciting your home phone number and address, along with your work and cell phone numbers. If they have trouble memorizing these, write them down on a card and have them carry it at all times. Tell your children where you will 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? The answers to these questions are obvious to adults, but some children need a little more direction. Setting boundaries early pays positive dividends.
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, like stores, libraries and police stations.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to work together with your neighbors. Watch out for suspicious and unusual behavior in your neighborhood. Talk to each other. Get to know your neighbors and their children so you can look out for one another.
Keeping our kids safe, while teaching them good habits is usually more successful when we work together as a team.