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I was thinking about the news this week. One particular national news I almost decided to share my thoughts on, but to be honest, the emotions I’ve seen around the Internet…I don’t want to go there here.
There have been a couple smaller and local articles that have been pulling at me, though, and making me re-evaluate just how safe and aware I am of my kids.
When leaving with a babysitter, have I effectively communicated all the information needed? Are my children safe at a park alone? Are they even safe in my front yard, or my parents un-fenced backyard?
Think About It!
These 3 questions lay heavily on my mind because they all made the news this last week. The first article was about a baby found alone in a stroller on the sidewalk – but that was blatant poor parenting as the mother had no explanation as to why she left her child. News like this makes me so sad!
Let’s move on, though, shall we? I’m writing under the assumption that most of you are good parents who wouldn’t leave an infant alone, outside at 5:30 am.
Earlier this week, another headline hit me of a 2-year-old found wandering around alone. There were no missing child reports and no way to identify the child’s parents. So the news got his picture out looking for anyone to recognize him. Thankfully, his babysitter did!
This was just a sad miscommunication. Mom and son were new to the area, and Mom got up early and left for work – under the assumption that she had asked the family she was living with to watch her son that day. But Mom didn’t tell anyone when she left. Son got up after Mom and went outside as well. When the babysitters awoke and couldn’t find the boy, it was assumed other arrangements had been made.
TIP 1: Always, Always make sure you and your babysitter are on the same page, and never leave the child until the babysitter is aware of where they are. I’m sure this Mom is just so happy her son was found safe!
Also, look into clothing labels. I know there’s products out there that attach to the inside of clothing with a name/address/phone number. You never know when it might be needed.
12 and 8-year-old sisters were playing alone at a park, after 7 pm. A man dressed in black with a mask attempts to kidnap the 8-year-old – after the tried running away first. The 12-year-old managed to hit the man in his mouth, at which point he backed off, and the girls made it to a friends house.
Mom taught the girls safety, and what to do in this type of situation.
Tip 2: Teach your children about safety. They are never too young to learn to run from strangers, and fight back if in danger. Have a “safe house” designated around any areas you frequent. A “safe house” would be a friends house, an elderly couple in the area, or an acquaintance you trust. Show your kids the safe house, and remind them they can go to them anytime they feel they are in danger.
A man abducts a 5-year-old from her grandmother’s front yard with the promise of ice cream. As a neighborhood search commences, a 15 year old boy and his friends are given the description and begin their own search. When they spot a girl matching the description they begin following the car on their bikes. The abductor stops and lets the girl out before taking off.
Tip 3: Teach your child stranger danger. Never accept candy, gifts, or promises from adults you don’t know, and never get in a stranger’s vehicle. I think this was a happy ending because a search was put under right away. So if your child is outside playing, either be with them or check on them frequently!
Think About It!
Could any of these have ever happened to you? We had an incident just last week that made my heart race. We were getting family pictures taken at a local free garden (Thanksgiving Point). After pictures, we stopped in an ice cream shop for a little treat, and to get out of the rain. Mark had to run across to another shop for an ATM, and I thought he had Princess R with him. When out of the blue a stranger told me my daughter was stuck in the door on the other side of the building….WHAT?! Mark had told Princess R to go back to mommy, he would be right back while I thought he was taking her with him. She ended up following Mark but getting stuck in the heavy doors. It could have ended so much worse. We failed on communication!
With the recent stories, I plan on paying a little more attention to my kids whereabouts, as well as teaching them these same tips I’ve shared here. I know we’ve talked about them before, but it never hurts to repeat it.