Keep kids in the safety zone this summer
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2016
7 NEIGHBOURHOOD SAFETY TIPS FOR PARENTS
Unfortunately no neighbourhood is completely immune to crime. However, there are
steps you can take to help keep your family and your neighbourhood safe.
• Know where your children are. Have your children tell you or ask permission before leaving the house and give them a time to check in or be home. When possible, have them leave a phone number of where they will be.
• Help children learn important phone numbers. Have your children practice reciting their home phone number and address, and 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 neighbourhood. Do you want them crossing busy roads? Playing in alleys or abandoned buildings? Are there certain homes in your neighbourhood that you don’t want your children to go to?
• Get to know your children’s friends. Meet their parents before letting your children to go to their home and keep a list of their phone numbers. If you can’t meet their parents, call and talk to them. Ask what your children might do at their house and if they will be supervised.
• Choose a safe house in your neighbourhood. Pick a neighbour’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.
• Teach children to settle arguments with words, not fists. Role-play talking out problems, walking away from fist fights, and what to do when confronted with bullies. Remind them that taunting and teasing can hurt friends and make enemies.
• Work together with your neighbours. Watch out for suspicious and unusual behavior in your neighbourhood. Get to know your neighbours and their children so you can look out for one another.
THE DANGERS OF LEAVING KIDS IN CARS...
Children require a lot of care and constant supervision when they are young. Such is the reason reports of children being left in cars are so surprising and generate so much outrage.
Many parents would never intentionally put their youngsters in harm’s way, but leaving a child in an unattended vehicle - even if it’s just for a few minutes - can be incredibly dangerous.
Heat is not the only danger children face when left in cars. Cold cars can be equally dangerous. Young children cannot regulate their body temperature very well. The University of Rochester Medical Center says babies can’t adjust to temperature changes as well as adults, and infants can lose heat rapidly, nearly four times faster than adults. Healthy newborns may not be able to keep their bodies warm if the environment around them is too cold. On cold, snowy days, babies may need a constant flow of heat in the car to remain comfortable.
Weather and temperature are not the only dangers kids face when left alone in cars. Strangulation from safety belts, entrapment in doors and windows and falls from open windows also may occur when kids are left in cars unsupervised. Some dexterous children may climb into the driver’s seat and engage the gear shift, causing the vehicle to move. Abduction is another potential danger, as unattended children in cars are potential targets.
Never leave a child unattended in a car. Parents prone to forgetfulness can put a stuffed animal on the front seat to serve as a reminder that they have kids in tow or place a purse or wallet on the backseat so they must look in the back of the car before exiting their vehicles.
STRANGERS & SAFETY
When it comes to the relatively low risk of abduction and kidnapping, children are by and large taken away by people they know. This implies they need a sense of who to trust. Wandering off is more common - but a lost child may have to call upon a stranger for help, and must develop the ability to judge what kind of people to approach.
The “never talk to strangers” rule does not protect children in the situations they are most likely to face. On top of this, it can be confusing. Adults do not model the behaviour; they often talk to strangers. A child may not know how to define who is a stranger, and who is not. If strangers are dangerous, then they must look unpleasant. On the other hand, a friendly, attractive person must be okay. Even though the opposite may be true, that is how a child’s mind may work.
WHAT PARENTS CAN DO
For young children, nothing replaces close supervision. Pre-schoolers do not understand risk and tend to act on impulse. Children need to develop habits and attitudes that will protect them from the real threats and dangers they may face.
• What to do if they are lost or in danger - they should stay put (or in hazardous conditions, find the nearest safe spot), try to attract attention, and wait for a rescuer.
• Where they live - Once children are in school, have them memorize their name, address and phone number in case they become separated from the family.
• When someone makes them feel uncomfortable - whether it’s someone they know or not, children should be taught to trust their instincts and to seek out an adult in whom they can confide.
• Whom to ask for help if they get lost - For example, a uniformed officer, store, restaurant or information booth staff, a parent with children.
• How to respond to situations - practice “what if” scenarios, such as getting lost in a mall, being approached in a park, being offered a ride with a stranger. Many families use passwords; children ask anyone picking them up for the password.
• The Canada Safety Council encourages parents to give their children age-appropriate positive
messages about safety, bearing in mind how youngsters may perceive their world.
INTRODUCING SUB-LIEUTENANT LYLE MARCINIW
On 24 May 2016, Sub-Lieutenant (SLt) Lyle Marciniw took over the position of Platoon Commander for the Garrison Petawawa Military Police Platoon (Grn Pet MP Pl) (the guardhouse) of 2 Military Police Regiment. He graduated from the Canadian Forces Military Police Academy in June 2015 and was subsequently posted to Garrison Petawawa. Prior to taking over as the Platoon Commander, SLt Marciniw was working as the Deputy Platoon Commander at the guardhouse and participated in Operation Trillium Response 16. SLt Marciniw is committed to ensuring that Grn Pet MP Pl provides high quality emergency response policing services, investigative support (for both criminal and service offences), as well as policing and security advice for Garrison Petawawa and its commanders.