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A Kid’s Guide to Crime Prevention in Their Community

Whether you are playing in your neighborhood, sitting at home, learning in school, or surfing the Internet, understanding how to stay safe is incredibly important. It can mean the difference between a boring normal day and a terrible day, because there is a lot that can happen if you’re not aware of your safety and surroundings. Crime, natural disasters, falls, fires, and bullying are all things that can happen to any community, but you can be a good community member if you understand what to do in some of these tricky situations.

Home Safety

Home should always be a safe place and you can help your family make sure it’s as safe as possible. A great starting point is by making sure your home has proper smoke detectors with fresh batteries. That way, in the event of a fire, the whole house will be alerted. Your family should have a good fire emergency plan that includes a plan to get out of the house safely and knowing where to meet up in the event of a disaster.

It is also important to know where the first aid kit is. In the event of a fall, injury, or accident, a home first aid kit can help us take the best care of the person who is injured. If someone is seriously injured, it is also important to get help right away and call 9-1-1, if needed. Knowing your address and phone number is also very important. Practice memorizing and writing out your address and phone number in case that information is needed during an emergency.

Consider building a natural disaster kit just in case that includes a flashlight, bottled water, batteries, radio, and nonperishable food that lasts the whole family for several days. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

School Safety

School can be stressful but, when you add in peer pressure and bullying, it can be even harder! Bullying is a common issue for students across the country and if you are experiencing bullying, you are not alone. Whether you’re the one being bullied or you’ve seen bullying happen at your school, it’s best to tell an adult you trust. Fighting is never an option and can only make the problem worse! The adults in your life, like your teachers and bus drivers, know how to take care of the problem.

Your teachers are there not only to help you learn but also to keep you safe. That’s why you have classroom rules! You should always take the time to go over and learn the rules your teacher set for the classroom to keep yourself and your classmates safe. It is also important to understand the rules around emergency safety in your classroom. These rules are in place to keep your class safe in the event of an unexpected emergency. Your teacher may run through different emergency drills during your school day. These drills are not meant to scare you; they are meant to teach you how to stay safe in an emergency situation.

When you are on your way to and from school, it is also important to follow the rules and pay attention to your surroundings. Bus drivers are there to help you get to school and home safely and by practicing proper traffic safety, you can do your part to keep yourself and your friends safe. Always stop and look before crossing in front of a bus. Never cross behind a school bus. Wait for the signal from the bus driver before walking across the road.

Community Safety

When you’re playing outside, you should always try to stay with a group of friends or family. If you’re playing by yourself, make sure to stay close to home where an adult can see you, and if you’re with others and you all decide to go to a new location, let a parent or trusted adult know first. When you’re outside, you shouldn’t talk to anybody you don’t know or get into a stranger’s vehicle. If somebody approaches you and you feel uncomfortable, immediately tell an adult.

Many families choose a “family password”, a word or phrase that every adult and child knows and that can be used to make sure that, should someone other than your parent or guardian approach you, they are indeed who they say they are and can be trusted. Talk with your family and, together, decide on your family password.

Online Safety

The Internet makes it fun and easy to keep in touch and play games with friends and family, but it can also be a dangerous place. Sometimes strangers are looking to steal your private information or commit other crimes online. There are a lot of steps you can take to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. First, never give your password to anybody or write it down on paper for people to find. For extra safety, change your passwords frequently and never download anything without permission.

Social media and online gaming can be fun, but that can be spoiled by cyberbullying. As with bullying at school, if you see someone online acting inappropriately, leave the situation and tell a trusted adult. If you come across online content you aren’t sure about or something that makes you uncomfortable, always tell a parent or guardian about it. When you stay on safe websites and are careful about who you talk to and what you talk about, you can make your time on the Internet safe and enjoyable every time!

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