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Parents and Families

As parents, you must teach your children how to handle specific situations that they may encounter. It is important that children understand the importance of being careful and how to deal with people they do not know. Basic Safety Tips:

  • Never approach a stranger and be wary of strangers who are overly friendly or show an unusual interest in you. The gift lure is common amongst abductors. Children must be taught that strangers do not normally hand out gifts or money to people.
  • Avoid secluded areas, alleys, schools and businesses after they are closed and empty lots that could potentially be dangerous.
  • Never enter a stranger’s vehicle, and don’t engage in conversation with a stranger who is walking or driving a vehicle. Stay a safe distance away from them and continue walking while monitoring their actions.
  • If approached, try to remember details about the stranger such as their description, associated vehicle or licence plate and call police or 911 for assistance if needed.
  • If confronted physically by a stranger, scream loudly to draw attention to yourself and do whatever is needed to try to escape.
  • Practice and use the password system – Provide your child with a secret password and instruct them never to go with a stranger, anywhere, unless that person provides them with the password. This will ensure the stranger has permission to pick up the child.
  • Encourage children to walk with friends, never alone, and make sure they know the safest routes to take.
  • Teach children that if someone asks them to keep a secret they are not comfortable with, it is alright to tell their parents.
  • Never leave children alone in a public place, including in a vehicle, and always accompany them to public washrooms.

Many students rely on a school bus to transport them safely to and from school. A school bus is one of the safest ways to travel, however injuries can occur and are often when children are getting on or off the bus. Student misbehaviour creates the most danger to passenger safety. Learn more: School bus safety |

Follow these safety tips to ensure a safe ride:

  • Leave yourself enough time to arrive at the bus stop on time so you aren’t rushing, and set a good example for others while waiting for the bus.
  • Wait in a safe place, standing back from the roadway.
  • Line up in single file, don’t crowd others, and board the bus in an orderly manner being careful not to push or shove anyone to get on quicker.
  • Be courteous to your bus driver, take your seat promptly and do not stand in the aisles.
  • Remain in your seat while the bus is in motion, keep your arms and head inside the windows, and ensure backpacks are held or placed under the seat to prevent them from falling in the event of sudden stopping.
  • Listen to the bus driver’s instructions at all times and don’t distract them while they are driving by talking, yelling or playing boisterously with other riders.
  • Remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop and exit the bus in the same single-file, orderly manner that you boarded it.
  • Be alert for traffic and NEVER depend on traffic to stop.
  • Never cross in the bus driver’s blind spot, which is right in front of the bus. Instead, walk ten steps ahead of the bus along the edge of the road, wait for the driver’s signal, confirm yourself that it is safe to cross, and walk quickly across the road.
  • Ensure you know where the emergency exits on the bus are, and that you are familiar with the plan if an emergency occurs.

Street Drugs and prescription drugs are a great danger for teens. Prescription medication can be easily accessed by teens and is a leading cause of teen overdoses. For more information on drugs taken by teens, slang terms, parent tips, and securing your medications: Drug Free Kids Canada – Drug Free Kids Canada

A gang is an organized group of three or more people who engage in criminal activity, create fear within a community, and who may have an identifying sign or symbol. Learn more Youth gangs in Canada: What do we know? ( and Home –

The following behaviours may suggest that a child is considering becoming involved with a gang:

  • Negative behaviour changes such as withdrawing from friends and family, declining school performance and attendance, and routinely breaking rules
  • Increased drug use and acquisition of weapons
  • A new interest in gang-inspired music, games, movies or media
  • Tattoos, or the frequent drawing of symbols on personal possessions
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Unexplained, or missing, cash or jewelry

To help keep children away from gang involvement:

  • Be a positive role model and spend time with your child
  • Encourage participation in extra-curricular, as well as in-school, activities and sports
  • Enforce rules and curfews
  • Encourage academic success
  • Talk openly about the dangers of gangs and criminal activity

Bruce Grey Child and Family Services (BGC&FS) are dedicated to the quality of life, safety and well-being of vulnerable children and youth, honouring diversity, culture and heritage. BGC&FS is responsible for protecting children from abuse, neglect and other forms of maltreatment. Learn more Bruce Grey Child and Family Services (

Keystone Child, Youth & Family Services is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization and the designated Lead Agency for Children’s Mental Health in Grey and Bruce Counties. Keystone has been providing free services and support to youth and families in Bruce and Grey Counties since 1974.

If concerned, call 1-855-322-4453 or 1-519-371-4453 24/7. If an Emergency, Dial 9-1-1.


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