Child Safety

Child abduction is a growing concern in Canada, so it's good to know there are simple precautions you can take to help safeguard your children.  The help you can offer a young child is somewhat different from what is useful for an older child.  Here are some suggestions:

Young Children Should:

  • Never say they are alone if they answer the phone - they can offer to take a message or say their parents are busy but will phone back.
  • Never answer the door if they are alone
  • Not invite anyone into the house without the permission of a parent or babysitter
  • Not go to a friend's house without letting anyone know where they are
  • Not go into people's houses that they don't know without a parent or babysitter
  • Never get into anyone's car without permission from their parents
  • Not take candy or other gifts from strangers or anyone else without asking a parent first for permission
  • Never play in deserted buildings or isolated areas
  • Scream and scatter books and belongings if they are forced towards a building or a car
  • Move away from a car that pulls up beside them
  • Know their telephone number and address
  • Know that it's all right to say "No" to an adult or anyone else if the person wants them to do something you've taught them is wrong.
  • Go to the nearest cashier or other worker if lost or separated from you in a store or mall


Older Children/Teens Should:
 

  • Tell you where they are at all times or leave a written or recorded message at home.
  • Never hitchhike anywhere they are trying to go
  • Avoid shortcuts through empty parks, fields, laneways or alleyways
  • Run home or go to the nearest public place and yell for help if they are being followed
  • Learn to recognize suspicious behaviour and remember a description of the person or vehicle to give a parent or the police.  Write the plate number in the dirt or snow if nothing else is available.
  • If attacked for money, jewellery or clothing, give it up rather than risk injury.
  • Feel that they can talk to their parents and to be able to call a parent to pick them up at any time any place


PARENTS SHOULD:

  • Avoid clothing and toys with your child's name on it.  A child is less likely to fear someone who knows his/her name and may not realize that's where the person has learned it from
  • Check all potential babysitters and older friends of your child
  • Never leave your child alone in a public place, stroller or car, not even for a minute
  • Always accompany young children to the bathroom in a public place and advise them never to play in or around the area
  • Always accompany your child on door-to-door activities such as Halloween, school fund-raising campaigns etc)
  • Point out safe houses or homes with the "Block Parent" sign where children can go if they are in trouble