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Wednesday, September 1, 2010


In view of last night’s news about a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl on the north side of Coon Rapids, it’s a good time to bring kid’s safety to the foreground We need to teach our children the basic common sense self defense. I believe this is a parent’s job. You teach them to walk, to speak, to read, to behave. We need to teach them to make smart choices as well. Kids should be taught what inappropriate behavior is. They should be taught to trust their gut feeling that something is not right. And they should be taught how to avoid getting into bad situations and what to do in case they encounter a “bad person”. Kids should have the confidence to be able to say “NO”.
Take time to teach your kids that bad things happen out there and they can avoid most of it by using basic common sense.
• Don’t go out all by yourself.
• Tell an adult where you are going to be.
• Don’t have conversation with strangers.
• Don’t be afraid to run or scream if you are in danger
• Don’t open the door to people you don’t know, no matter what they say
• Have an emergency plan
• Never tell people that you are home alone
• Don’t be tempted by stranger to go pet a dog or have a treat
• A great ploy is to lure children away from others by pretending to have them help you find your lost dog (or anything else “lost”)
• If you are in trouble, call for help. Attract others attention. Criminals do not like an audience
• When you are outside of the home, be aware of your surroundings: environmental dangers, stray animals, other people.
• Set up a password that only the child and the parents know. The child should never go anywhere with anyone who does not have the password.
• Kicking, biting, spitting, eye gauging are effective methods of self defense if you are in danger
• Look for an improvised “weapon”: a stick, a rock, sand thrown in the eyes, a toy, be creative with what’s around you
• Make sure to have them differentiate that it’s OK to hit people who are trying to kidnap you and seriously hurt you but they cannot use the same techniques on their friends or just because they are having a disagreement with someone

Take time to teach safety to your kids. They are so precious. The few minutes you spend everyday rehearsing these things can save you a life time of heartache if something would happened to them.

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