Talking to Your Children
It can be a difficult thing for parents to talk to kids about the fact that there are people out there who would want to take them away, or even do them harm. As parents, we would love to have our children grow up believing that the world is a safe and secure place.
In the eyes of a child, it’s hard to understand that anyone would want to harm them in any way. One of the most important things parents can do to increase the safety of their children is to talk with them about the dangers that exist. Role-playing various scenarios could also be a beneficial activity.
Harm to a child is not just from strangers. Approximately 86% of children abused are harmed by a parent, caregiver, or someone the family knows and trusts. Part of the discussion should include understanding personal boundaries and inappropriate touching by someone they may know and trust; or by someone the family knows and trusts. Children should learn to tell if someone harms them, touches them inappropriately, or tells them to keep secrets about such activity.
The Davidson Police Department will fingerprint children if a parent brings in a child identi-kit to Town Hall. We do not photograph. We do not keep a copy of the fingerprints or indenti-kit. This document is retained by the parent/guardian.
Keeping Your Children Safe
Along with fingerprinting and photographing your child, adhering to the following tips will let your child know how much you love them and reinforce in their mind the idea of being safe:
- Always keep an eye on your child, especially in large crowds.
- Tell your child not to walk up to a stranger’s vehicle for any reason. Role-play this with your child. (Example: a stranger offering candy or requesting directions).
- Show your child how to dial 911. Discuss with your child what an emergency is and when they would use this number. (The Davidson Police Department will send an officer to any 911 hang-up call where no one can be reached on a call-back).
- Keep a close eye on children using the Internet.
- Provide your child with the names of trusted adults that they can go to if you can't be reached in the event of an emergency.
- Tell your child that if they get lost they should find a police officer or store clerk and wait with that person until the police arrive.
- Don’t put clearly visible name tags on your child’s bike or backpack. They can allow a stranger to call them by name, giving them some credibility in your child’s mind.
- If your child(ren) stay at home by themselves, instruct them not to answer the door and to screen phone calls.
- Remind your child that adults do not need help from a child in looking for something like a lost dog.
- If your child is in a dangerous situation, instruct them to yell, “This is not my Mom/Dad!”
- Make sure your child knows his/her full name, address, and phone number as soon as the age is appropriate.
- Instruct your child that if someone comes into their room late at night, they should scream and make noise no matter what the intruder tells them.