*Note from MomTrusted*
The information below is for extreme cases and while we don’t think it’s useful to scare your child or make them feel paranoid that people are out to get them, we do believe there are lots of constructive ways to teach these things to children to encourage safety. Below outlines what a child should do if they are being abducted but most children will never find themselves in this situation. Here is a great resource for teaching your child about stranger safety without scaring them: kidpower.org/library/article/safe-without-scared/
While everyday situations do not call for self defense, being aware of dubious situations and being able to defend yourself should the need arise is important for children growing up in our society. Below are three tips on how to defend yourself as a young adult or child.
When a child is away from their parents or in an area they don’t know, encourage them to pay attention to their surroundings. Avoid areas such as alleyways or unlit sidewalks, and try to provide them with information on where they could go if they got lost or separated, such as a store, front desk, or a police station, to try and get help. Make sure they know to avoid vehicles or people they do not know. Teach them to avoid talking with or going anywhere with strangers, such as an adult at the park who may begin to talk to them out of nowhere. Remind them that if they are approached by a stranger, they should go to an adult they do know or leave immediately to avoid any conflicts. Teach them to identify individuals who may be able to help them, such as a police officer, and how to contact authorities if this is necessary.
If something does happen to your child, give them ideas on what they can do to remove themselves from the situation. Encourage your child to make as much noise as they can, screaming things such as “help” or “fire” which will get the attention of people in the area. Encourage them to struggle and fight to get away, and remind them that in an emergency where they are potentially being taken or kidnapped, things like scratching or biting or pulling hair may help them escape. Remember to include that if they are able to get loose, they should run away as fast as they can, continuing to ask for help and encouraging people to call 911. A self defense class may be a good way to help them feel they have a way of getting away if something were to happen, as this will help your child have a positive way to defend themselves if they are at risk for being harmed or taken. Most rec centers, gyms, or local activity centers have classes for children in self defense.
Inform and Alert
Teach your child how to move with a group and know their information. Your child should always stay with a group whenever possible, and never leave the house by themselves, especially after dark. Encourage your child to take a dog with them if they own one when going out on walks or running errands if at all possible. A child should always know 911, as well as their address, phone number, and name of at least one parent or guardian. Make sure they know their way around where they are going, as well as escape routes or shortcuts if they need to make a quick escape. They should also know how to get to a safe location other than home, such as a bank, store, or school, as these places are all locations where there are adults who can help with a situation as needed.
Christopher Watson is a martial arts instructor with a background in security and recently contributed to the Top 10 Best Online Homeland Security Degree Programs for professionals looking to get quality training in security from home.
Attached Images:License: Creative Commons image source