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Child Safety versus Child Freedom - Treading the Fine Line

Aug 17, 2007
The turn of the century has seen the human race step from the golden age of innocence into a world of fear and violence. We live in an uncertain world nowadays where there seems to be danger everywhere. Home invasions, bombs, terrorism, predators... even catching the subway seems fraught with danger.

So it's only natural if we feel less secure than we used to and it's understandable that we worry about our family, particularly our children. We worry about their vulnerability, how can we protect them?

Here are a few ideas,
The best way is to make sure children understand danger without frightening them. Give them enough knowledge so they can handle emergencies with confidence. Make sure they know all their details; their full name, address and phone number, the emergency services' phone number (fire, police or ambulance). Arrange with a trusted neighbour to have a "safe house" where they can go if you are out, or if they lose their key.

Always make sure you know where they are at all times and tell them how to reach you if necessary. Get to know your children's friends and their parents if possible. It's a good idea for older children to have their own mobile phone. To prevent large bills you can restrict the usage. For example just allow calls to your home or mobile numbers.

Stranger danger

Explain to your children that it's not a good idea to accept a ride with an adult they don't know, however friendly they may seem. Teach them what to do if someone tries to grab them or force them into a car - Shout, kick and scream! Anything to attract attention!

Child home safety

Teach children basic first aid. Even small children can be taught emergency resuscitation and who knows when it could save a life - yours even? Make sure they understand not to play with lighters or matches. This may seem like common sense; it's not. Young children find flames quite fascinating. Keep dangerous items like chemical and medicines out of reach or locked up.

There's a lot of upsetting news on the TV these days. While most children take it in stride, some are upset and frightened by it. While it's not possible to totally restrict what your child watches or reads, be available to them if they want reassurance or have questions.

Internet child safety

Children do need to have access to this resource for educational purposes at least. There are filters you can buy which (hopefully) will shield them from obvious pornography, but the predators are getting clever. Here's a couple of examples of sites that look perfectly innocent but aren't,
teltubbies.com and bobthebiulder.com. Can you see the misspellings?

If possible keep an eye on what they're doing online. It's easier if the computer is not in the child's bedroom, but is set up where the family gathers so that they can take an interest in what their children access on the net. Watch out for chat rooms, you never know who's lurking behind the anonymity.

And finally try to relax! Children have been born into this world as it is now. They will accept this as normal. Children will not have to make the quantum mind shift, as we older adults have had to do.

The young children of today will become the well-adjusted adults of tomorrow. Love them, treat them with respect, look after them and they will survive and prosper. Trust their strength and trust your own judgement to raise them to be the best that they can be.
About the Author
Kristi Hale is the mother of three and the Office Manager of
Eagle Systems Home Security
a full service home security provider for the front range area of Colorado.
Visit Eagle Systems website for more information on child safety.
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