February 1, 2018, by Linda Presley
Practical Tips When It Comes to Teaching Kids Crime Prevention
Protecting your child is the most important job you’ll have throughout your life, especially when they are young. It is never too early to begin teaching your children about the importance of safety and crime prevention. Learning how to incorporate certain skills and behaviors into potentially dangerous situations could be life-saving. The more aware and self-sufficient your children are, the more likely they are to properly handle and overcome high-stress situations and events. Of course, safety and crime can be a difficult concept to teach. Here are some practical tips for teaching your kids some of the basics.
Basic Necessities for Emergency Situations
Teach children important phone numbers, their parent’s full names, address, and other important details about your family at a young age. Be sure to inform your young child that the information is only for family members, police officers, and teachers (while discussing stranger danger). This can be easily memorized by teaching them through a song or rhyme.
Teach your child about using the phone to call 911 in the case of an emergency, and not at another time. Walk through what situations might warrant a 911 call, what you might say, and what the most important information to get across is. If your home has an emergency alarm or home security alarm system, make sure your kids know how to activate it in an emergency as well.
Navigation and Location
Once your child learns their home address and enjoys playing outside or throughout your neighborhood, create a map together so they become more familiar with their surroundings and how to properly navigate if they become lost or disoriented. Have your child learn the names of nearby streets as well as where various trusted neighbors live if they are ever in need of assistance. When your child is more familiar with their neighborhood and surroundings, it is much easier to get out of difficult or dangerous situations.
An excellent way for older youth to start to know navigation, especially when they start driving, can be to teach them orienteering. But, it doesn’t have to be boring, orienteering can be fun when done as a group through friendly competition, such as Cub-O for the Cub Scouts or Score-O for the Boy Scouts!
Basic Medical Knowledge
While you probably won’t be teaching your toddlers how to tie a splint or CPR, try to equip your children with basic knowledge they can use. Things like putting pressure on bleeding wounds and washing and covering scrapes with a band-aid can be a good start. As they get older, summer CPR and Wilderness First Aid courses can help prepare them for other kinds of medical emergencies they might need to know about.
Speak Openly and Honestly with About Stranger Danger
Speaking openly and honestly regarding stranger danger is vital when communicating the importance of crime protection. While your children may be too young for graphic details, informing them that individuals with bad intentions exist is a must, regardless of age. They should be able to tell you or another adult they trust if they are ever uncomfortable around another individual. Scouters go through background checks when they register and are required to take Youth Protection Training. Additionally, the ‘A Time to Tell’ video is a good resource for older Scouts to understand these concepts.
Taking the time to communicate with your kids about crime prevention and safety is a way to keep your mind at ease while also equipping your children with the right tools and problem-solving methods they may need. Even if you live in an extremely safe and tight-knit community, having self-awareness and street-smarts is imperative for kids at any age.
Crime Prevention Merit Badge
If you are looking for an opportunity for Scouts to learn more about Crime Prevention, become a counselor or help Scouts find a counselor for the Crime Prevention merit badge.
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