Street-Proofing your Children

Street-Proofing your Children
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About the Author

Chantal Corner

Chantal Corner

Sergeant Chantal Corner is the Media Relations Officer for the Halton Regional Police Department. She grew up in Oakville and graduated from Loyola. She still resides in Oakville.

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Downtown Oakville TD Songs Summer Concert Music August 19 2017
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Talking to your child about personal safety is an excellent first step in helping keep them safe from harm.

The following guidelines are provided to assist parents and caregivers in further ensuring their child’s safety:

Playing:

• Know who your child plays with and where
• Keep a list of your child’s friends’ addresses and telephone numbers
• Teach your child to play safe, and play together
• Tell your child to never play in remote areas of parks or take shortcuts through the woods
• Encourage your child to use a buddy system instead of walking alone
• Tell your child not to loiter on the way to and from school

Supervision:

• Do not leave your child in unsupervised areas such as cars, parks, public washrooms, arenas and plazas
• Accompany your child to the bus stop and meet them when they return from school
• Ensure your child always notifies you as to where they are going and who they will be with

Personal Safety:

• Teach your child not to go anywhere, or with anyone, without the permission of the person who is the caregiver at that time — It could be a parent, baby sitter, grandparent or teacher
• Their caregiver(s) need to know who they are with, where they are going and what they will be doing
• Coach your child/children that there are some people who they can approach for help, such as police officers and firefighters in uniforms.

Getting Help:

• Teach your child where to go and how to get help
• Accompany your child on their regularly traveled routes. Be sure to point out the locations of pay phones.
• Show your child how to use 9-1-1 for emergencies

Practice:
• Develop a “what if” game to get your child thinking about how they would respond if they felt afraid

Their Body:
Your child’s body is private.

• Tell your child that no one may touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable
• If someone touches them, they should talk to you about it

Uncomfortable Feelings:

• Teach your child to talk to you immediately if someone says or does something that makes them feel strange or uncomfortable

• Listen when your child is trying to tell you about something that bothers them and provide them with support and understanding

Behavioural Changes:

• Watch for changes in your child’s behaviour that could indicate something is wrong. Examples include hesitation to go with certain people, loss of appetite, withdrawal, depression and aggression.

Planning:

• Make arrangements with your child in advance that if you or their regular caregiver is unable to pick them up, a specific person they already knows will attend instead

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