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How To Help Keep Your Children Safe

Steps to Protecting Children

1. Learn the facts, understand the risks. Realities, not trust, should influence your decisions regarding your child. The greatest risk to our children doesn’t come from strangers, but from our friends and family.

2. Minimize Opportunity. If you eliminate or reduce the one-adult/one child situations, you’ll dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse.

3. Talk about it. Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it. Understand why children won’t tell.

4. Stay alert: Learn the signs. Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being abused.

5. Make a plan. Learn where to go, who to call and how to react.

6. Act on suspicion. The future well-being of a child is at stake.

7. Get involved. Volunteer and financially support organization that fight the tragedy of child sexual abuse.

Safety on the Internet
For Parents

· Be open and talk with your child about internet safety. Explain to your child about the dangers of going online: sexual predators, stalking, indentity theft, bullying, etc… Teach them ways to protect themselves.

 · Place the family computer in an open area. It’s much easier for you to check up on your child when the computer is where you can see it. This will limit your child from doing or seeing something they shouldn’t online.

 · Use tools such as parental controls, monitoring software, and content blocking. Internet tools will keep your child from entering sites they shouldn’t be in.

 · Spend time with your child online. Together you can find sites that are appropriate for your child. Adding them to ‘Favorites’ will save the web address for instant access.

 · Take the time to learn about the internet.  The more you know about the internet, the more you are aware of what is out there and how to protect your child from predators.

 · Say No to Chat Rooms and sites such as My Space.  These are the perfect places for predators to stalk underage children. Predators fake their identity and age to persuade children to trust them enough to meet with them in person.

Online Safety Rules for Children and Teens

 · Never give out your personal information; full name, address, phone number, school, or password. People who enjoy hurting kids can use this information to find you or use your password against you.

 · Never agree to meet someone you meet online. Predators give out false information about their age, to trick you in meeting them.

 · Tell your parents or an adult right away if someone makes you feel uncomfortable online. DO NOT reply to their messages. Inform your parents so they can contact the service provider.

 · Never post pictures of yourself to anyone you don’t know. Even if you do know the person, be careful of the kinds of pictures you share. Once your picture is out there. You can never take it back and you cannot control who sees it.

 · Don’t do anything that can harm others or is against the law.

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The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a FANTASTIC resource at www.netsmartz.org for Parents, Caregivers, Family Members, Teachers, Community Members or anyone! There are also links for little kids, big kids, teens, etc.  Please check it out!  You can never have to much information about keeping your kids safe!