Summer safety – keeping your kids safe
As school winds up and children start spending more time outside, the Calgary Police Service would like to remind parents to have discussions with their children about safe interactions with strangers.
Calgary is a very safe place to live, but it’s still important to keep in mind the dangers that can exist in our communities, however rare they may be.
Following are a number of tips for parents to use when speaking with their children:
- Teach your children who is a safe adult. Have a conversation with your child about who a stranger is, and how even people known to them could still be dangerous. In the past we’ve talked with children a lot about “stranger danger”, however unfortunately we now know that many child abductions are actually committed by people the child already knows. The important message to teach your children is to not go anywhere with anyone without first getting permission from you.
- Use the buddy system. When your children are out in the community, make sure they are always with at least one other person. Make sure you get to know your children’s friends and their parents, and have contact numbers in case of an emergency.
- Show your children safe places in the community. Point out safe places in your community that your children can go to for help if they need it. These places could include police, fire and EMS stations, schools, community centres, businesses, or even trusted neighbours. It’s important for children to have multiple places they can go to in an emergency.
- Know where your child is at all times. If your child is travelling anywhere by themselves, make sure you agree on a predetermined route before they go. If it’s somewhere they go often, they should always use the same route so you know where they’ll be. Also, always have your child text or call you when they arrive at their final destination or when they are on their way home.
- Staying safe online. If you’re children use social media platforms, make sure you know who they are communicating with. It’s important to teach them that people they meet online may not always be who they say they are. If they want to meet an online friend in person, you should be involved in making the plans and be present when the meeting happens.
- If an attempted abduction happens teach your children to actively resist, shout out loud and draw attention to themselves. Make sure they know where to go for help or how to call police.
A number of possible child lurings have been reported to police throughout the city in the past week and are currently under investigation. Police encourage citizens to report any suspicious activity or attempted child abductions to police by calling the non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 or 9-1-1 for a crime in progress.