Child Safety


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BULLYING:  Understanding the Behavior



Any kind of ongoing physical or verbal mistreatment in which there is an imbalance of power is defined as bullying.  In other words, the bully is often a bigger and older child looking to “win” in any situation.  The bully’s victim is usually upset by the experience, while the bully is either unaffected or is pleased by the victim’s discomfort.

 

Reasons Why People Bully:
 

·         Lack of coping skills

·         Poor anger management skills

·         Lack of empathy skills with little remorse for the target

·         Lack of impulse control

·         Aggressive behavior patterns

·         Attention-seeking behavior

·         May have been bullied

·         Power and control

·         Boredom

·         Jealousy

·         Strong sense of entitlement

 

·          Has seen bulling behaviors successfully used by others/recipient
           of physical punishment


 ·         Defiance and oppositional views towards authority


·         Thinking that others control behavior/blaming others


 

Bullying Behaviors:

·         Saying hurtful and unpleasant things

·         Making fun of others

·         Using mean and hurtful nicknames

·         Completely overlooking someone

·         Deliberately excluding someone from a group of friends

·         Encouraging others to dislike someone

·         Hitting, kicking or pulling hair

·         Telling lies and spreading false rumors

·         Sending mean notes


Teach Life Skills:

Because some children will be picked on for characteristics they cannot or should not change, it is very important for parents to teach their children life skills that can mean the difference between a full and happy childhood or one of constant dread and sadness.  Teach your child not to be a victim or a bully.

Memorial Behavior Health for Kids:  1-800-831-1700.

Very Respectfully,

Michael Munyon

 


 

When it comes to our children, we all want the best. We want them to grow up to become happy, safe, confident adults who are able to make responsible choices. Unfortunately, the FBI estimates that as many as 2,300 children are reported missing to the police each day. Some become lost, some run away. Some are abducted, and others are thrown away. Some fall prey to crime, are abused, exploited, murdered.
Therefore, alerting our children about dangerous situations has
become as necessary as teaching them the ABCs. Fortunately, parents armed with the right information can go a long way toward coaching children to stay out of harm's way. Teaching children to be aware and alert doesn't mean teaching them to be fearful and afraid. The goal is to train youth to use their eyes, ears and knowledge to make appropriate judgments about situations, and to encourage children to turn to a trusted adult for help if a problem does arise.

Protection Starts at Home

Home should be a place where children feel truly comfortable about talking freely about their likes and dislikes, their friends and their feelings. In that kind of open atmosphere, children hopefully will feel comfortable
turning to their parents or another trusted adult with life's ups and downs. If you notice a change in your child's behavior, have a heart-to-heart talk. Find a comfortable place where you won't be interrupted and talk with your
child in a concerned and nonthreatening way. Ask teachers and school administrators if there's a problem at school and, if so, ask them for help. Here are some strategies for promoting good communication with your
children and an atmosphere to help them thrive:

 

·      Remind them how much they're loved with hugs, words and gestures appropriate from
       a parent.

·      Listen-really listen-to your children.

·      Build confidence and self-esteem in your children by "catching" them being
       good. 
 Look for situations to say "congratulations, " "way to go" or "good job."

·      Support your children's involvement in extracurricular activities, sports and hobbies of
       their choice.

·      Show interest in your children's schoolwork and activities.

·      Get to know your children's teachers and caregivers.

·      Get to know your children's friends and their families.

·      Respect an older child's need for privacy, but don't ignore the continued need for
       parental supervision and involvement.

·      If you're overwhelmed by a family problem, seek the assistance of a trained counselor
       or clergy person.


As soon as your children can articulate a sentence, you should begin teaching them how to protect themselves.

The following are some basic safety rules to convey:

·      If you get separated from your parents in a public place, go to a checkout counter,
       security office or lost and found area. Tell the person in charge that you need help
       finding your parents.

·      If someone wants to take your picture, say NO and tell your parents, day care
       provider or teacher.

·      Do NOT get in a car or go anywhere with any person unless your parents have told
      
you that it is okay. (Parents: Share a code word with your child known only among
       family members. Stress to your child that anyone offering a ride unexpectedly — even
       a family friend — will have been given the code word in advance.)

·      If someone follows you on foot or in a car, immediately get to a safe area.

·      Don't approach the car of anyone who claims to be asking for directions or looking for
       a lost pet.

·      If someone tries to take you somewhere without your parents' permission, quickly get
       away from him or her and scream, "This person is not my parent."

·      Always ask your parents' permission to go somewhere and try to have a friend with
       you.



Basic Safety Rules For Parents:


Use your eyes, ears and intuition to help you protect your children. Here are some safety rules for parents:

·      Know where your children are at all times. Insist they ask permission to go to a
       friend's house or play in the neighborhood.

·      Be sensitive to changes in your child's behavior. Keep the lines of communication
       open so you can ask your child what's going on.

·      Be alert to a teenager or adult who is paying an unusual amount of attention to your
       child or giving them inappropriate or expensive gifts.

·      Remember what your child is wearing each time your child leaves the house.

·      Do not permit your child to wear any clothing that has your child's name visible to
       others. Personalizations can help a kidnapper gain your child's trust.

 

Simply telling children not to talk to strangers could mislead them. More often, children are harmed by someone they know--a relative, family friend, neighbor or other familiar adult. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), children are better served with instructions to be wary of certain kinds of situations or behaviors--such as touching or being touched by an adult in any place a swimsuit would cover--rather than individuals who have an unusual or disheveled appearance. A clear, calm and reasonable message about potentially harmful situations and actions may be easier for children to understand than a profile or image of a stranger. Children can be raised to be polite and friendly, but tell them it is okay for them to be suspicious of any adult asking for assistance. Often exploiters or abductors initiate seemingly innocent contact
with the victim. They might ask for help in finding a lost puppy, or simply ask for directions.

Teach children at an early age that they:

·      Should trust their feelings.

·      Have the right to say no to what they sense is wrong.

·      Should not keep secrets from their parents.

If someone does approach them in a manner that makes them feel uncomfortable, they should tell their parents immediately. Safeguarding Your Child In Cyberspace More and more homes and schools are connected by computer to commercial services, private bulletin boards and the Internet. Parents should be aware of these systems and how they work.


Ways to be connected via computer include:

·      Online services, which are maintained by commercial, self-regulated businesses.
       They may screen or provide some editorial and user controls of the material contained
       on their systems.

·      Computer Bulletin Boards, called BBS systems, can be operated by individuals,
       businesses or organizations. The material presented is usually theme
       oriented, 
 offering information on hobbies and interests. While there are BBS systems
       that feature adult-oriented material, most attempt to limit minors from accessing the
       information contained on those systems.

·      The Internet, a global "network of networks," is not governed by any entity. This
       leaves no limits or checks on the kind of information that is maintained by and
       accessible to Internet users.

Children and teenagers can get a lot of benefit from being online, but they also can be targets of crime and exploitation in the new environment. Some of the potential risks of unsupervised online activity include:

·      Exposure to material of a sexual or violent nature.

·      Inadvertently providing information or arranging an encounter that could risk a child's
       safety.

·      Receiving electronic mail or bulletin board messages that are harassing, demeaning
       or belligerent.

Most online services and Internet providers allow parents to limit their children's access to certain services and features such as adult-oriented "chat rooms" and bulletin boards. Check for these controls when you first subscribe. Here are some helpful hints that also can minimize many potential risks:

·      Keep the computer in a central location, such as the kitchen or family room, rather
       than in a child's bedroom. This way, everyone in the family has access to it.

·      Don't use computers and online services as electronic baby-sitters.

·      Set and discuss reasonable rules for using the computer.

·      Become familiar with the services your child can access and how they work.

·      Show interest in how your child is spending time online, and have your child explain
       what he or she is learning.

·      Consider using a pseudonym or not listing your child's name if the service allows it.

·      Never give out identifying information or personal information in a public message
       such as a "chat" or bulletin board, and be sure you're dealing with someone both you
       and your child know and trust before disclosing identifying information in an E-mail.

·      Beware of any offers that involve meeting someone.

·      Never respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene,
       belligerent, threatening or make you feel uncomfortable. Encourage your child to
       inform you of any such messages and, if you or your child receive a message that is
       harassing, of a sexual nature, or threatening, forward a copy to your service provider
       and ask for their assistance.

·      Should you become aware of the transmission, use or viewing of child pornography
       while online, immediately report this to the National Center for Missing and Exploited
       Children by calling 1-800-843-5678. You also should notify your online service If you
       can't immediately locate your child, stay calm. Most likely, your child is safe,
       preoccupied in an activity and has no clue you are worried. If your child is missing at
       home, first, search the house. For a young child, you should check closets, piles of
       laundry, in and under beds, inside old refrigerators — wherever a child could crawl
       into or hide and possibly be asleep or not able to get out. For an older child, check
       with the child's friends, with neighbors or at other hangouts. If you still cannot find
       your child, call the police immediately. If your child disappears when shopping, notify
       the manager of thestore or the security office and ask for assistance in finding your
       child. Then telephone the police. When speaking with the police, identify yourself and
       your location and say, "Please send an officer. I want to report a missing child."


 When an officer arrives to take your report:

·      Give your child's name, date of birth, height, weight and any unique identifiers.

·      Tell when you noticed the disappearance and when you last saw your child.

·      Describe the clothing the child was wearing when he or she disappeared.

·      Tell the officer if your child is mentally challenged or drug dependent.

·      Listen to instructions and answer any questions as completely as you can.

·      Provide police with a recent photograph.

·      Write down the officer's name, badge number, telephone number and the police report
       number.


·      Keep a notebook and record all information about the investigation.


T
ell the police that you want your child immediately entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File. This ensures that any law-enforcement agency in the country will be able to identify your child if found in another community. There is NO mandatory waiting period for reporting a missing child to the police or for entry into NCIC. Then, call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-
5678 and the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-621-4000. Don't panic or lose sight of the immediate task at hand, locating your child. If you think your child has run away, keep in mind that many children return within 48 hours Precautionary Measures Most likely, the following precautionary measures will never prove necessary. But just in case your child might disappear:

·      Keep and update regularly a complete written description of your child. Include date of
       birth, color of hair and
eyes, height, weight, unique physical attributes and any other
       significant identifiers (braces, pierced ears,
eyeglasses).

·      Take color photographs of your child every six months. Photographs should be of high
       quality and in focus so the
child is easily recognizable. Head and shoulder portraits
       from different angles, such as those taken by school
photographers, are preferable.

·      Make sure the dentist updates your child's dental charts each time an examination or
       dental work is performed.


·      Know where your child's medical records are located. Medical records, particularly X-
       rays, can be invaluable in
helping to identify a recovered child. It is important to have
       all permanent scars, birthmarks, blemishes and
broken bones recorded.

·      Arrange with your local police department to have your child fingerprinted. In order for
       fingerprints to be
useful in identifying a person, they must be taken properly. Your
       police department has trained personnel to
assist you. The police department will give
       you the fingerprint card and will NOT keep a record of the child's
prints


The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children The National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children (NCMEC), established in 1984 as a private, nonprofit organization, serves as a clearinghouse of information on missing and exploited children. NCMEC also provides technical assistance to citizens and law enforcement agencies, offers training programs to law enforcement and social services professionals, and distributes photographs and descriptions of missing children nationwide.


How NCMEC Can Help


A 24-hour, toll-free telephone line is open for those who have information on missing and exploited children: 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
This number is accessible throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The TDD line is 1-800-826-7653.

The NCMEC business number is 1-703-235-3900.

The NCMEC facsimile number is 1-703-235-4067.
 


MORE CHILD SAFETY TIPS

 

Yell, Kick, & Scream - This may seem obvious, but many children freeze when they are frightened by an adult. Make sure they know that if they are scared, they won't get in trouble if they don't go along quietly.
Yell- This person is hurting
me!
Kick - offender's
foot, groin or knee.
Scream.


Area Code & Phone Number - Make sure your child knows their area code and phone number. Does your child know how to make a collect call or dial in case of an emergency? Teach your child not to give their phone number or address to others without permission.

Buddy System - A child alone is an easy target. Encourage your children to use the buddy system and to watch out for each other.

Family Code Word - A code word is a lock and key for your child.
For  example, "Your Mom and Dad have been in a car wreck. You need to come with me right now!" Child: "What is the code word"? If the adult doesn't know, then the child doesn't go. The child should run away
from that person and tell whomever is responsible for them-- teacher or parent --what happened. Get a description of the perpetrator if possible

Separation Plan - Teach your children to go to a cashier or ticket booth if they are separated from you while at a mall, amusement park, or any place you travel

Neighbors - Organize a block watch and participate in a safe home program.

Child's Clothes - Make a mental note of what your child wears every  day! Also, do not put your child's name on the outside of their clothing because it allows others to easily identify your and address him/her
directly.

 

Special Thanks to Mr. Michael Munyon, U.S. Armed Forces Director for allowing us to use this source.

 




 

 

 

Never say you are alone when answering the phone; offer to take a message or

   

say your parents will phone back.

 

 

Never answer the door if you are alone.

 ► 

 

Do not invite anyone into the house without the permission of a parent or babysitter.

 

 

Never go into anyone's house with letting parent or babysitter know where you are.

 

 

Do not get into anyone's car without parent's permission.

 

 

Do not take candy or other gifts from strangers or anyone else with asking a parent first.

 

 

Never play in deserted buildings or isolated areas.

 

 

Move away from a car that pulls up beside you if you do not know the driver.

 

 

No one may touch any part of your bodies that a bathing suit would cover. If someone should

   

touch you in those areas or make you touch them in those areas, immediately tell parents about it.
This includes people you know, friends of the family, uncles, aunts, godfathers, or anyone else.
Even though it may be embarrassing, it is not your fault and it needs to stop.

 

 

Tell parents, school authorities, or a police officer about anyone who exposes

   

his or her private parts.

 

 

Tell parents if someone has asked you to keep a secret from you.

 

 

If lost or separated from you in a store or mall, o to the nearest cashier.

 

Use the buddy system, never walk or ride bikes alone, at day or night.

 

Always walk toward traffic, even when on sidewalks. That way an abductor cannot drive up from

   

behind and pull the you into his or her vehicle. Walk in the middle of the sidewalk, away from
doorways and alley-ways.

 

Do not take unsafe shortcuts across parks, etc.

 

Always tell a family member or other adult in charge where you will be at all times and when you

   

will be home, this includes when at neighbor's house.

 

Always, always ask your parents permission to go to a friends house, leave your yard, or go any

   

other place. Your parents need to know where you are going so as to protect you.

 

Do not go with strangers! Talking to strangers if you are with someone with someone you know

   

and trust is okay in most cases.

 

Do not talk to strange people on the other side of schoolyard fence. Run and tell a teacher that a

   

stranger is talking to you, especially if they are asking you any questions.

 ► 

 

Don't accept gifts from anyone not specifically OK'd by your parents.