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What Children Should Be Taught

July 18, 2002

If you are in a public place and you get separated from your parents, don't wander around looking for them. Go to a checkout counter, the security office or the lost-and-found and tell the person in charge that you have lost your mom and dad and need help finding them.

Do not get into a car or go anywhere with any person unless your parents have told you that it is OK.

If someone follows you on foot or in a car, stay away from him or her. Do not get close to any car, unless your parent or a trusted adult accompanies you.

Do not talk to grown-ups and others who say they need your help. They should not be asking children for help--they should be asking older people.

No one should be asking you for directions or to look for a "lost puppy" or telling you that your mother or father is in trouble and that he or she will take you to them.

If someone tries to take you somewhere, quickly get away and scream for help.

Never go places alone. Always take a friend with you.

Always ask your parents' permission to leave the yard or play area or to go into someone's home.

Never hitchhike or try to get a ride home with anyone unless your parents have told you it is OK to ride with him or her.

If someone wants to take your picture, say no and tell your parents or teacher.

For Parents

Know where your children are at all times. Be familiar with their friends and daily activities.

Be careful about baby-sitters and any other individuals who have custody of your children. Obtain references from people you trust and see if you can have access to background screening information about these individuals.

Be alert to a teenager or adult who is paying an unusual amount of attention to your children or giving them inappropriate or expensive gifts.

Be sensitive to changes in your children's behavior; they are a signal that you should sit down and talk to your children about what caused the changes.

Teach your children to trust their own feelings, and assure them that they have the right to say no to what they sense is wrong.

Listen carefully to your children's fears, and be supportive in all your discussions with them.

Teach your children that no one should approach them or touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. If someone does, they should tell you immediately.

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