Crime Prevention for Kids

There are lots of things kids and parents can do to make sure they’re aware of their safety and prevent crime from happening. By understanding how to stay safe at home, at school, and even online, kids can be better armed against potential criminals. Whether you are playing in the neighborhood, sitting in the comfort of your own home, or attending school, following some important safety tips can mean the difference between a normal day and a scary one. Dangers do not always occur in the form of crime, however. Fires, natural disasters, and even bullying from other classmates are also some things that kids should be aware of and know how to combat.

Community Safety

If you enjoy playing outside, be sure you stay in a group with friends and do not play outside alone. Stay near your home and if you decide to go somewhere else, let a parent or other trusted adult know, and make sure you only stay gone for the amount of time you are allowed to. Never talk to strangers, and never get into a vehicle of a person you do not know. If someone tries to talk to you and you feel uncomfortable, you should immediately tell a parent or teacher. Sometimes people will attempt to vandalize buildings and cars. If you see a friend or someone else doing this, you should also be sure to tell an adult. Use your common sense when you are on the school bus or playing in your community, and always be aware of your surroundings.

Home Safety

Staying safe at home is also very important. Your family should have proper smoke detectors in the house with fresh batteries in the event of a fire. You should also have a good fire escape plan as well. Make sure your mom and dad have a first aid kit somewhere handy that you and your siblings can get to if you need it. It is also always a great idea to have the family take a CPR class. Prepare another kit that is made for emergencies in case there is a hurricane, flooding, or other natural disaster. This kit should have a flashlight, batteries, a radio, and extra nonperishable food and bottled water that can last everyone for several days. Your home is your sanctuary, so it’s good to make sure it’s as safe as possible.

School Safety

Many kids today are dealing with things at a much more intense pace. Bullying is a common issue with many students across the country. If you are being bullied or you see someone else being bullied, it is a good idea not to fight or to do anything that will antagonize the bully. Instead, tell a trusted teacher or your parents that you are witnessing or are a victim to bullying. The adult should be able to help take care of the problem. Peer pressure is another issue a lot of kids must face. Sometimes, kids will pressure others into doing things that are dangerous like drinking or drugs. Make sure you surround yourself with friends who are a good influence, and stay away from other kids who try to pressure you into doing something you do not feel comfortable with.

Online Safety

The Internet is a great place to keep in touch with friends, play games, and much more. But the Internet can also be a dangerous place where strangers are looking to steal your private information or commit other crimes. Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent online crimes. First, never give your password to anyone and never write it down on a piece of paper anywhere. Change your password frequently and do not download anything without your parent’s permission first. Avoid chat rooms if possible and be aware of who you are friends with on social networks. Make sure you only get on secured websites that are kid friendly and do not give anyone you do not know your address, what school you go to, or any other information.

Additional Crime Prevention Tips

There are lots of other things you can do to prevent crime in your life and neighborhood. Gun safety is very important and if someone in your home has a gun, never pick it up or touch it. Check with your parents to make sure their guns are locked away and if you go to someone’s home who has a gun, never touch it or let anyone else hold it. If someone at school is talking about guns or has one, you must report this immediately to your teacher. In school or when hanging out with friends, some people might be tempted to drink alcohol or use drugs. Always say NO to both drugs and alcohol and if you feel uncomfortable, tell an adult. Drugs and alcohol are very dangerous, and it’s important that you stay away from them and people who use them. Use your common sense when it comes to staying safe. Be aware of your surroundings, who your friends are, and what the basic safety rules are in any situation.

By Ted Burgess