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Linnies Corner

Street Proofing Your Kids!

Now this is a broad subject if there ever was one.  It is every parent’s #1 priority to keep their little ones safe, both indoors and especially when they first venture out beyond that great big door of curiosity.  When you think about it, we actually begin to teach safety at a very early age, perhaps as early as crawling when baby is able to access numerous objects to taste and explore, with the ever present danger of swallowing.  We start with the ‘no no’ and numerous other methods of making the object unattractive to the baby but surely there are an endless number of effective solutions that you, as a parent, have employed successfully.   And so we teach the child boundaries such as property lines, child gates and timeouts when they attempt to cross those barriers.  

Whatever the methods we employ, nothing replaces caution like supervision.  It is when the child is old enough to interact with others at playgrounds, playschool, parks and any other venue they find themselves in, that parental or caregiver supervision is paramount.  The important overview here is that all children require street proofing and here are some of the tips that I have learned over the years:   

Always remember that rules and boundaries will never replace active supervision.
Never leave your child unattended in a car or at any location out of your sight. 
Teach your child to never talk to strangers or take any gifts from them, e.g. candy.            
Teach your child what figures are actually safe to talk to e.g. other children, teachers, police officers, firemen. 
Instruct your child to report suspicious advances to the nearest authority figure such as a teacher. 
Teach your child how to dial 911 and never to do it unless someone is ill or injured and no other adult is nearby. 
Always know who your children play with and make the effort to meet their parents. 
Instruct your child to report every incident of bullying to the school office and parents.  By dealing with each situation immediately, the offender will quickly get the picture that he/she is being monitored. 
Accompany your children to and from school and to all other locations. 
Do practice runs and hypothetical scenarios to test your child’s response knowledge.   

Keeping your children safe has never been so difficult, thanks to an increasing number of predators and bullies in our neighbourhoods.  Parents who are facing these threats every day must be creative in their teaching so as to educate but not unnecessarily frighten their kids.  

Your comments would be so much appreciated so here is my question to you!
WHAT MEASURES DO YOU EMPLOY TO STREET PROOF YOUR KIDS?                                                               

26 Comments to Street Proofing Your Kids!:

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Angie on May-19-12 11:44 AM
Hello Linda You make some good points about monitoring where your kids are at all times and who they are with. I agree with all of your points but I admit that I never thought to tell my kids to report to their teacher that they are being bullied and who the bully is. I will do this now because as you say, if the bully knows he is being monitored, they just might be more careful and stop the practice because they are not going to get away with it any more. I like your books and plan on buying them for my neice's little girl and boy for their birthdays which are coming up this summer. You have made a new fan Linda and I will be watching for more books to come out.
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Linda Hales on May-19-12 11:47 AM
Hi Angie! Many thanks for your comments. I'm so happy that you derived some benefit from my points and it is always refreshing to hear positive feedback from my readers. Be well Angie and please come back to follow my site!

Christine M Hannon on June-02-12 4:06 PM
beautiful books I am forwarding this to my son so he can show my grandson who is 7
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Linda Hales on June-02-12 4:43 PM
Many thanks Christine. I am so happy you like my books and hope that your grandson will too.

Sandy Nachlinger on June-02-12 4:16 PM
Thank you for posting this helpful list. It seems complete to me, and I can't think of a thing to add. My granddaughter has just turned one year old, and she's moving faster every day! Your hints will come in handy as she grows and her world expands.
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Linda Hales on June-02-12 4:49 PM
Hi Sandy - I agree, it is never too early to be proactive with our children's safety. I recall a very frightening incident when my daughter (2 yrs. at the time), actually opened the front door and ran out into the traffic on a busy street. Fortunately, nothing came of it but that was the time that I realized that even doors need to be childproofed.

Micki Peluso on June-02-12 4:32 PM
Your books are simply adorable!! I think it's important that chidren's books have morals to the stories just like the old aesop's fables and other fairy tales. I enjoyed your blog as well. i know it's partially do tomore media coverage, but i have never seen an age when their were so many serial killings, abduction and abuse done to so many children.It's crucial , like you said, that we learn new ways to keep our children/grandchildren safe.
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Linda Hales on June-02-12 4:54 PM
Thanks Micki - I am so glad that you like my books and my thanks to you for your eye opening comments re child safety. I will continue to post child relevant topics so hope you will return to see what is coming next.

Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins on June-03-12 1:09 AM
Hi Linda! I have enjoyed your style with many many great ways to keep our children/grandchildren safe. It makes me so angry that even today parents leave their children in unattended autos with the excuse they are asleep or it was for just a moment. It only takes a moment for tragedy. I would like to add one thing that each child should be equipped with. In our world today there is an ever increasing possibility of natural disasters. Several years back I was involved with schools to help educate kids on what to do in case of earthquakes or other disasters. One thing that was discussed is that each child should always have a family photo, extra snack for emergencies, telephone change for calls. and if they have a school locker, parents should consider having a small blanket with emergency supplies handy in case it is 24 hours or so before parents can reach them. Parents that live in such areas where the possibilities exist should help schools become aware of their role in keeping the children safe and get involved to be sure those measures are done. I was surprised to see how many schools were not ready. A family photo for small children and older ones can make a huge difference for a connection to home when they become afraid. Thank you for the opportunity to speak out. Keep up your wonderful blogs and education of our leaders of tomorrow. Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins
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Linda Hales on June-03-12 10:14 AM
Dear Rosemary! Thank you for your tremendous input to our blog discussion. Your suggestion is 'huge' and needs to be considered by all schools, daycares and other venues where children congregate daily. Your suggestion brought to mind the natural disaster in New Orleans just a few short years ago when thousands of children had to be found and reunited with their parents. Similarly, you brought to mind the many severe tornadoes that occur in North America, but primarily in the United States. Thank you so much for contributing this valuable information and I hope to see you back for my next post.

Diane O'Key on June-03-12 3:27 PM
Wonderful information and advice! As a retired teacher, I truly appreciate and relate to this stuff :-) Great job! Diane
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Linda Hales on June-03-12 8:05 PM
Dear Diane - thanks for the vote of confidence. It is reassuring to hear these words from an educator as it helps me to know that I am on the right track. I hope you revisit as I think I will kick this up a notch to apply to the middle grade child and sensitivity training. I will do some research on this to see if I am up to the task before I try it. Again, I really appreciate your thoughts on this.
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Sandra McLeod Humphrey on June-06-12 10:00 PM
You're right on target with your suggestions and advice and I particularly like your idea of "practice runs." When our kids were young, we used to role-play different scenarios with them just to give them some "practice" making decisions before they encountered those same situations in real life. Great post!
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Linda Hales on June-07-12 9:44 AM
I so appreciate your comment Sandra. I firmly believe that there is something we can all do to go that extra mile to protect our children. Not only do we love our children but all of their learning gets passed down to the next generation. Every little bit helps.

Linnea Larsen on June-17-12 5:04 PM
There is such a fine line between keeping your children safe and letting them experience the world well enough for them to be able to enter it as an adult. I think it has been one of the hardest things about parenting, especially as a single mom when it comes to my youngest son. God has been merciful to me in my parenting. So far my children are doing very well. (I don't understand that this is the first time I've seen your blog. I'm sorry I'm so late in visiting.)
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Linda Hales on June-17-12 6:13 PM
So good to hear from you Linnea and thank you for your warm comments. The proof is always in the pudding, reminding us that we did the best job we could. Yes, there are exceptions, but thankfully, most parents are awesome and have their priorities right, such as yourself. I hope you revisit - I'll announce my next blog piece shortly.

Holly Stover on June-22-12 3:23 PM
Hi Linda, My kids are all grown up now so I don't have the same worries anymore. Great advice that would have been good to have back then!
Reply to comment
Linda on June-22-12 5:43 PM
Hi Holly - times have changed so much since when our kids were little. We didn't need to take so many precautions back then; in fact, exploring was just an experience of growing up. Thanks for your comment.

Micki Peluso on June-24-12 10:04 PM
Linda, You have a delightful blogsite and your blog on keeping kids safe should be posted on all our blogs. I never remember a time when children were in the dangers they face today. I used to love to stop and talk to kids and stopped so they wouldn't talk to strangers. Every parent should have a copy of your list for safety. Micki
Reply to comment
Linda Hales on June-24-12 10:25 PM
Hi Micki! Thank you so much for your encouraging comments. I would love it if someone would repost my blog on their site - a lovely idea.

Stacy Coles on June-26-12 11:25 AM
Wow, Linda! Thank you so much for all your support. Consider that YOUR act of kindness for the day (referring to my blog post!). I am going through your links, after commenting here, to return the favor. Great post, here! I have my boys (ages 10 & 8) in Karate. The 10-year-old just earned his Brown Belt; the 8-year-old will test for his Yellow Belt next month. Now, my 12-year-old daughter is wanting in on the action. I love it ~ it's great for boys and girls of all ages. It's a great sport that teaches them self-defense, builds self-esteem, and helps them make and focus on goals.
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Linda Hales on June-26-12 12:07 PM
Stacy - thank you so much for commenting. I so agree with you that karate teaches kids positive mindsets that can only build character in them. Your children should become awesome role models for the little ones someday.
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Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins on June-30-12 7:34 PM
Linda, Thank tou for trying to wake up parents. When we were raising our children, parents made it their business to get involved. Preditors existed 35-40 years ago as well. Some of which were in the school system but protected by tenure. To those people, we as parenrs banned together and made their lives a living hell until they were forced out or left kids alone. Last night there was a story in the news about a 3 year old whose parents let them ride their tricycle in the driveway unsupervised-right into the street this child went and struck by a car-now in critical condition-Parents cannot teach safety without first getting involved-being there, and being educated with facts as you have presented here! I pray they all read and learn your blog. Thanks for trying to keep our future generations safe.
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Linda Hales on June-30-12 7:56 PM
Hello Rosemary - it is wonderful to have your take on this very serious problem, one that is getting worse every day. Parents dread the day when their children decide that they don`t want to be so protected anymore but need to stay close by nevertheless because kids will always need that safe place to come home to. Bravo to all of the beautiful, loving parents everywhere! Your kids will teach the good lessons they have learned from you.
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kids play centres on March-11-13 2:47 AM
I think every parents must have read this post so that they can know about safety of the child. I also share this content with my relatives who have kids. thanks.
Reply to comment
Linda Hales on March-11-13 2:54 AM
Many thanks for dropping by and for leaving your comment. Keeping our little ones safe is our highest priority and responsibility. All he best!

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