Take 25 Child Safety Program

Does finding 25 minutes to talk to your kids or your busy tweens and teens about safety seem impossible?

The goal of Take 25, a program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, is to heighten awareness about children's safety issues.  With a focus on prevention, the campaign encourages parents, guardians, and other trusted-adult role models to spend time talking to kids and teaching them ways to be safer.  While it may not be possible for you to be with your children every minute of the day, you can spend time talking to them, setting appropriate limits, and helping them make good choices. To learn more about child safety, visit www.take25.org.

The Key Biscayne Police Department wants to work with you to keep your children safe. Throughout the school year our D.A.R.E. Officer visits area schools talking to students about ways to keep safe. However, those conversations need to be repeated at home. Don't forget to "practice what you preac"!  Make sure if youâ're talking to your kids about seat belts, that you wear yours as well; and don't get behind the wheel of a car if you've been drinking. 

But safety isn't just about cars.  Take time to talk to your kids, teenagers especially, about where they go, and who they're with. Make sure the parties they are attending have good adult supervision, and most of all NO ALCOHOL.

Technology is a wonderful thing, but it also makes it easier to prey on young children.  If you don't know anything about computers or the internet, educate yourself, and make sure you know what sites your kids visit, and the passwords to any accounts they set up, such as Facebook and Skype.  Have the computer in a place where you can see what they're doing, not in their room.  Consider limiting their access to the web on phones and iPods.  Caution them not to post revealing information or inappropriate photos of themselves or their friends, and NEVER agree to meet in person with someone they met online.

Do your kids know what to do if approached by a stranger?  Younger children may easily fall into the trap of helping a stranger find a lost pet, or be lured by the promise of candy or money.  Teach your children that it's OK to ignore requests from an adult they dont know; and if anyone tries to grab them, they should make a scene and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming, and resisting.  But unfortunately, danger to children is much greater from someone you or they know than from a "stranger," so also teach your children that no one has the right to force, trick, or pressure them into doing things they don't want to do.

Make sure young children know their complete name, address, and the phone number of a parent or guardian; whether it's a house phone or a cell phone. 

Practice "What If" situations.  For example, ask "What if we were on a family outing and you got separated from us?  What would you do?" Listen carefully to their responses.  Suggest some things that they might not have thought about.

We hope this message inspires you to take time to talk to your kids about being safe. Please visit the following websites for more safety tips.

National Missing Childrens Day is May 25. First proclaimed by President Reagan in 1983, the day serves as an annual reminder to the nation to renew efforts to reunite missing children with their families, remember those who are still missing, and make child protection a national priority.





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