Safety & Crime Prevention Tips for Children
When You Are Playing Outside
- Stay away from curbs when you're walking, and walk with friends. It's fun when you're with friends. People may not bother you as easily if you're with friends.
- Let your parents or guardians know where you are going and how long you plan on being there. Tell them the route that you are going to use to get there.
- Obey all traffic lights when crossing the street, and cross in the crosswalks.
- Don't play near rest rooms!
- Don't play in streets or alleys! Use our parks and playgrounds to play in.
- Try to play in a group, with friends. You're safer in a group than you are by yourself. If you get in trouble in a group, there is someone there to help you.
- If someone driving a car stops and calls you to their vehicle, don't go near the car. Move away from the vehicle. If possible, try to get a look at the driver or the person who is calling you as you move away. Also try to remember the license plate, and the make and color of the car. Always run in the opposite direction of the car; never run in the direction that the car is facing. Then get to a safe place and tell an adult you trust what happened. If you see a police officer on the street, stop him or her and tell them.
- Don't ever talk to strangers on the street or accept anything from them such as money, candy, or even a puppy. Never go with anyone, even if they tell you that they are looking for a lost person or pet. Get away from that person as quickly as possible. Tell an adult, your teacher or principal, or the police what happened.
When You Are Home Alone
- Don't open the door for anyone you don't know.
- Keep the doors and windows locked. Ask your parents to teach you how to open and lock doors and windows.
- Never let anyone into your home to use your phone, bathroom, or anything else. Your home is not a public phone booth or a public rest room. If there is an emergency outside your home, call 911 for help and tell the sheriff/police what is going on. The sheriff/police will send someone to your home!
- If you call 911 for help, don't hang the phone up. Leave the receiver off the hook and dangling after you talk to us. This way, the police can still hear you in case anything happens before help arrives.
- Don't talk to strangers on the phone. And never tell the person on the phone that your parents are not home and that you are alone. Tell the person that your parents are not able to come to the phone at this moment, that you will take their name and number, and that your parents will return their call when they can.
- If there is someone hanging around near your home, call for help by dialing 911. Tell the dispatcher what the person is doing and give a description of the person. Help will be sent to you.
- Never play with matches!
Safety Tips for Children
- I will trust my gut instincts - I know it is a natural warning alarm
- I will listen and quickly leave the situation if the alarm goes off
- I will tell my parents where I am going and when I'll be home
- I will let my parents be the persons to open the front door
- I will play or go places with at least one other person
- I will let my parents know if I am going to go out with friends, or go to a mall, or to a store, etc
- I know how to use a pay phone without money
- I know a private for-family-only code word
- I will not talk to strangers when alone
- I will lock my home and car doors
- I will not use shortcuts or alleys
- I will return home before dark. If I am going to be late, I will call and tell my parents
- I know my parents want me to use these safety rules because they love me
Safety Tips for Parents
- The best way to prevent your child from becoming a victim or perpetrator of crime is to convey a consistent message of love over a long period of time. Feelings of love, affection and acceptance build self-esteem in your child
- Give your child the courage to trust their gut instincts which are natural body alarms
- Teach your child to yell no and to run away from a situation that could harm them
- Demonstrate to your child that it's productive to settle arguments with words and not violence
- Establish and practice a plan with your child for handling separations in a crowd or in a store
- Be the kind of person your child will want to come and talk with, and then listen to what is said
- Provide supervised care when you are unable to be with your child at home, in the car, or on the street
- When you are at home or in the car always lock the doors
- Maintain a current list of your child's friend's phone numbers and addresses
- Establish a private family code word for emergencies
- Maintain current ID, including photograph, video and fingerprints
What You Can Do to Help
Working together we can create a safe and crime free environment for our children, and insure that the world that our children inherit from us is safer and more secure than the one we inherited from our parent. Our goal is not to protect children's rights; it is to establish children's rights through affecting legislation that will protect children; providing communities with pro-active steps for creating safer neighborhoods; promoting parental awareness and child safety tips.
Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of our children. Education and prevention can be the key to giving children the tools necessary to protect their own safety. Teach your child the buddy system. Typically, the child that is alone is the child that is vulnerable. Show your child the safest places to play, and areas to avoid, like dark alleys or adults without kids who are hanging around the playground or school. Keep a current photo and finger prints. in a safe place. When you are shopping, keep one hand free of packages so you can hold your child's hand.
Although most parents are very busy people and often pulled in many directions building your child's self-esteem and sense of preservation is one of the best gifts you can give. It's important for children to realize they can listen to their feelings, and talk to trusted grown-ups about their problems and concerns.
- Be protected. Always wear an approved bicycle helmet. Adult cyclists as well as children receive serious and sometimes fatal head injuries. 75% of cycle-related fatalities are due to head injury. Statistics show that 95% of the children in the U.S. own and ride a bicycle and 80% of the crashes involving children under 15 years old are caused by the children themselves. Wearing an approved bicycle helmet reduces head injuries by 85%.
- Be visible. Smart cyclists make themselves easy to see. If you are out after dark or in fog or rain, make sure motorists can see you. Use lights, reflectors and reflective tape. A bell or horn is also a good idea. Wear light or bright colors like red, white or yellow. Put an extra bit of reflective tape on the pedals. Wear reflective bands on your wrists and ankles or on the front and back of your jacket.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals. Signs and signals are posted to protect your life and the lives of others. They must be obeyed.
- Ride with traffic. Remember - you must not ride in the middle of the road, or on the left-hand side, or weave your bike from side to side. Always be very careful when you pass parked cars. Thoughtless motorists sometimes open doors on the traffic side, right in your path. Be alert.
- Ride single file on the street. Always ride one behind the other. Do not follow too closely. Keep at least one bike length behind the cyclist ahead in case you have to stop suddenly.
- Stop before riding into the street from your driveway or a lane. Motorists may not have time to see you if you pop out suddenly.
- Always walk your bike at busy corners. It's impossible to see in all directions at once. Traffic is tricky at corners, so the safest thing to do is to dismount and walk your bike across with the pedestrians.
- Never ride two on a bicycle. Unless you have a tandem bicycle (a bicycle built for two) your bike was built to carry only one person. Never carry passengers on the handlebars, crossbar or seat.
- No "trick riding" on streets or highways. Trick riding on the streets, roads or highways isn't smart - it's dumb. Good cyclists don't have to show off.
- Lock your bicycle. When leaving your bicycle in a school yard, shopping plaza or other location, make sure you lock your bicycle to avoid it being stolen. Lock it with a sturdy lock or else you might lose it!
- Always Wear a Helmet.
- Wear Proper Clothes.
- Make Sure Your Bike is Adjusted Properly.
- Check Brakes Before Riding.
- Ride With Traffic. Keep to the Right of the Drive.
- Be Aware of Traffic Around You.
- Stay Alert - Keep a Look-Out for Obstacles in Your Path.
- Obey all Traffic Signals.
- Show Off.
- Zigzag, Race or Stunt Ride In Traffic.
- Hitch Rides on Trucks or Cars.
- Accept Passengers.
- Carry Large Packages Which Can Get In Your Way.
- Ride Against Traffic.
- Tailgate or ride too close.
Seat Belt Usage
The backseat is the safest seat for all children:
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children 5 to 15 years of age. A study by the National Highway Traffic Administration concluded children are safer riding in the backseat
- Airbags are lifesaving devices, but special precautions must be taken when driving children in air-bagged equipped vehicles
- Children risk injury if they are unbelted, improperly belted or otherwise too close to the dashboard when an airbag inflates. To play it safe, always buckle children in the backseat
- If a child must ride in the front seat, or the vehicle does not have a backseat, move the seat as far back as possible from the dashboard and make sure the child is buckled properly
- Never place rear-facing infant safety seats in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger-side airbag. The back of the safety seat in this position is too close to the inflating airbag and the infant could be killed or seriously injured
- For more information on airbags and children, visit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website.
- For your convenience, a copy of the current Ohio legal requirements for children riding in vehicles has been provided below
Ohio Revised Code
- 4511.81. Child restraint system required; child highway safety fund.
(A) When any child who is in either or both of the following categories is being transported in a motor vehicle, other than a taxicab or public safety vehicle as defined in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code, that is registered in this state and is required by the United States department of transportation to be equipped with seat belts at the time of manufacture or assembly, the operator of the motor vehicle shall have the child properly secured in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions in a child restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards:
(1) A child who is less than four years of age;
(2) A child who weighs less than forty pounds.
(B) When any child who is in either or both of the following categories is being transported in a motor vehicle, other than a taxicab, that is registered in this state and is owned, leased, or otherwise under the control of a nursery school, kindergarten, or day-care center, the operator of the motor vehicle shall have the child properly secured in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions in a child restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards:
(1) A child who is less than four years of age;
(2) A child who weighs less than forty pounds
(C) The director of public safety shall adopt such rules as are necessary to carry out this section.
(D) The failure of an operator of a motor vehicle to secure a child in a child restraint system as required by this section is not negligence imputable to the child, is not admissible as evidence in any civil action involving the rights of the child against any other person allegedly liable for injuries to the child, is not to be used as a basis for a criminal prosecution of the operator of the motor vehicle other than a prosecution for a violation of this section, and is not admissible as evidence in any criminal action involving the operator of the motor vehicle other than a prosecution for a violation of this section.
(E) This section does not apply when an emergency exists that threatens the life of any person operating a motor vehicle and to whom this section otherwise would apply or the life of any child who otherwise would be required to be restrained under this section.