Parents urged to take precautions for child safety

Local law enforcement discuss potential dangers and safety measures to take as kids prepare to head back to school.

Websites showing registered sex offenders in local neighborhood areas could be a part of a parentâ??s preparation to send their child back to school. Officials are urging parents to take the necessary precautions when planning and prepping their kids to head back to class, especially when walking to local bus stops or walking to school alone.

In fact, one of the main issues is to never allow a child to be alone.

â??One thing parents can do is to make sure their child is never alone. Parents should make sure that their child travels in a group and when theyâ??re at the bus stop that theyâ??re waiting with other children,â?? said Lt. Elizabeth Brown of the APD Crimes Against Persons unit.

Officials are asking parents to be as informed as possible about their neighborhoods and the route their child takes to the bus stop. Knowing that there may be sex offenders in the area could help a parent decide what route to take and help the parent open a line of communication with the child about what to do when they are approached.

â??Knowledge is always power. Knowing what is in your childâ??s environment is of the utmost absolute importance,â?? said Lt. Brown. â??Knowing that someone is a sex offender is not going to keep your child safe. What is going to keep your child safe is good parenting. Open communication and giving your child the skill sets they need to survive.â??

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children listed these tips for parents and guardians to prevent abduction and harm.

-Instruct your children to always take a friend when going places

-Teach your children the appropriate steps to take if approached or followed

-Teach your children it is more important to get out of a threatening situation than to be polite

-Talk openly to your children about safety

-Practice basic-safety skills with your children

-Be involved in your childrenâ??s activities

-Never leave children unattended in a vehicle

-Know where your children are and whom they are with at all times

-Know your childcare providers, friends, neighbors, coworkers and employees.

Staying informed about surroundings and those involved in a childâ??s life can help alleviate any questions and helps a parent prevent any problems. An open line of communication with the child, with fellow parents, and with the school can prevent a child from being in a dangerous situation.

â??Things can go wrong in a moment, and whatâ??s going to help save that child is having those tools, having those skills, knowing how to get out of the situation and knowing how and where to get help,â?? said Lt. Brown.

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