Child Safety for Pre-Teens and Teens

If safety is vital for a newborn, it is equally important for older children, especially in view of the present social environment. The concerns are different and definitely safety for this age group should not mean over-protection. Nor should it be enforced against the resentment of a child.

Safety at this age is more a matter of providing important guidelines followed by a great deal of parental awareness and support.

School Bus Safety

Teach the Child :-

  • To be at the bus stop early.
  • Never to run after the bus if she is late, because of risk of inquiry from an incoming vehicle
  • Wait for the bus in a safe place.
  • Not to talk to strangers or accept rides with anyone.
  • To never cross behind the bus as there are blind spots around the bus where the driver cannot see. Teach him to cross in front of a stationary bus and to always walk 10 steps in front of the bus.
  • While in the school bus not to distract the driver because he needs to pay attention to the road and traffic.
  • To remain seated.
  • Not to take out her heads, arms or hands outside the bus windows.
  • To beware of hazards presented by long scarves, loose bag straps etc while exiting or entering a bus. Care has to be taken to ensure that clothes and bags don’t get caught in the door.
  • Not to go under a bus or run towards a moving bus to retrieve something they have dropped.
  • To stay away from the doors.

Your checklist-

  • Make sure that the school you choose has a good school bus (or other travel arrangement) which conforms to minimum safety standards.
  • Ensure that the child is up early enough so that he doesn’t miss the bus and look for alternate arrangements on his own.
  • Teach road rules – look to both sides before crossing, cross at Zebra Crossings etc.
  • If you are working, work out a system with the child for calling you when he reaches home.

On-line safety

It has become absolutely essential for parents to keep themselves well informed about their children’s surfing habits – whom they’re contacting, how much time they’re spending on-line, etc.
What you should be afraid of on the Net: –

ü Adult and child pornography – this is illegal but extremely graphic, violent and desensitising. An innocent keyword typed into a search engine or the misspelling of a web site’s name can lead children into sites that are shocking and often difficult to leave.
ü E-mail addresses can be gathered and other deceitful marketing practices can be employed. People and their personal information are vulnerable from unscrupulous individuals and companies.
ü Hate sites, cult sites, weapon related sites can also include bomb making formulas, violent ideas & images and provide a venue for certain groups to convince children to join them and further their cause.
ü Paedophiles exploit the anonymity of the interactive areas frequented by children where they look for unassuming kids with whom they can cultivate a relationship.

  • Place the computer where you can see the screen as you go about your business.
  • Become computer savvy and ensure that other caregivers are too.
  • Spend time with them while browsing on the internet. Participate in fun, family oriented activities.
  • Encourage children to share their on-line discoveries with you.
  • Communicate the dangers clearly and also explain how to avoid them.
  • Explain to the children that they should never give out any personal information on-line. This includes last name, home address and telephone number, parent’s work address or telephone number, name or location of school and financial information.
  • Children should never agree to meeting face-to-face with a person they have met on-line, without parental permission.
  • Explain that people they meet online are not always who they say there are.
  • Children should not send their photograph or other identifying information without parental permission.
  • Children should not download anything from the internet without informing the parents.
  • Children should agree to tell their parents immediately if they encounter a person or site that makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • Teach the child the ‘back’ button in your browser. He should know that any time he finds a site uncomfortable he can get out of it by clicking this button.
  • Think about investing in a filter or censorship programme. These can be downloaded from a website like www.moochers.com. These programmes can block out sites with key words which you can add on a list. They can also block access to a list of sites deemed unsuitable for minors. The only problem is that children can learn to disable the password.
  • Check the ‘history’s section of your browser to keep tabs on sites visited.
  • If you allow your children to use chat, sit next to them when they are chatting online.Safety Rules –
    • Never talk to strangers.
    • Never take lifts.
    • Tell your parents immediately if somebody makes them feel uncomfortable.
    • Never make friends that they can’t bring them home to meet you.
    • Avoid dangerously isolated spots even when they know the person they are with very well.

    Related Links

    Sexual Abuse Guidebook
    Sexual Education

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