Children need to be aware of the dangers out there; and they need to know what to do in case of an emergency. To help keep them safe, come up with (create is perhaps a better word) an unusual code word. Something that no one can figure out (examples you shouldn’t use are the name of their pet dog or their grandmother’s last name). For best results, create a name using several different things--for example: crayons and pens could be made into a code word of “craypen”.
Now, teach this code word to your children and practice it with them every day before they leave the house. When anyone approaches them, that person (and this is the tricky part) must have the code word or the child is not to go with them. Even if that person is a close friend or a relative, if they do not have the code word, then the child is not to go with them. This means that you will have to make sure family and friends know that they cannot pick up your child without this code word; AND you will not tell anyone, not even family, what this code word is unless they have to pick up your child. Once a code word is used, change it immediately. This code word is the best way to teach your children to stay safe. How many children have been taken and raped and/or killed by people they knew and trusted? This code word, known only to you and your children, will help to keep them safe.
Next, teach your children that if the code word is not used (no matter who is trying to get them) they should not go and if the person insists, then the child is to VERY LOUDLY refuse. If that doesn’t work, then they are to cry out for help loudly and continuously until the person leaves and/or help arrives. The same goes for anyone who might try to grab them unexpectedly; the child is to scream for help loudly and continuously. This is the one time the child is allowed to get as loud as they want; in fact they are strongly encouraged to do so.
Once these rules have been established, practice with your child so they get used to the process. Have a friend help by approaching and asking them to go with them. Be sure the friend does not have the correct code word and see what the children do. Coach them over and over until it becomes habit.
Remember, make the code word unusual so it can’t be guessed, and make sure only you and your children know what the word is. Practice the word every day before they leave the house so they will remember what it is. And then, when something comes up and you have to have someone else pick up the kids, GIVE the person the code word and make sure they understand that it is imperative that they use it. Finally, remember to change the code word once it has been used.
For information on keeping your child safe outside of the home go to MyChildSafety.Net