A Guide to Crime Prevention for Kids

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Safety and crime prevention are everyone’s responsibility. Staying safe means learning how to behave in our homes, schools, community, and online in ways that protect us from crime. Staying safe isn’t just about not being a victim of crime: We also must learn to protect ourselves from being hurt by things such as fires or floods. Knowing how to protect ourselves is the key to being as safe as we can be wherever we are.

Home Safety

Safety is a concern even when you are in your own home. There are several things you can do to make sure your home is a safe one. Smoke detectors should be located throughout the house and should always have fresh batteries. There should also be a plan of escape in case there is a fire. Families should have a designated place to meet outside the house so that everyone can be accounted for.

Parents and even kids can learn to perform CPR. CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, can help to keep someone who has stopped breathing alive until emergency personnel gets there. Somewhere in the house, there should be a first aid kit filled with items such as bandages, antibacterial cream, scissors, and gauze. A separate kit should also be kept with items such as a flashlight, bottled water, and some nonperishable food. This kit could be used in case there is a hurricane or some other type of weather event. By taking these simple steps, your home can be where you feel the safest.

School Safety

Children spend much of their day at school, and schools should be safe places. Teacher and principals work hard every day to keep students safe. One problem that students sometimes have to deal with at school is bullying. The best thing to do if you are being bullied or if you see a classmate being bullied is to go to a teacher you trust or tell your parents. Another issue kids in school deal with is peer pressure. Sometimes, kids will try to pressure other kids into doing something dangerous, like drinking alcohol or trying drugs. Choose friends who make good choices, and try to avoid kids who try to make you do something you know is wrong.

Online Safety

The Internet is a fun place to learn and play, but it can be dangerous. Children are taught not to talk to strangers as they walk down the street or play at the playground, and the same should be true on the Internet. You should not talk to strangers on the Internet. There are strangers there who may try to commit some kind of crime. They may try to steal private information or convince you to do something you shouldn’t do. There are a few things you can do to make yourself safer online. Always keep your password a secret, and change it from time to time. Ask your parents before you download anything from the Internet. You should also be careful who you connect with on social media: People may not be who they say they are. Finally, never, ever give your address to anyone you meet online.

The ways that we protect ourselves from bullies in school also apply to cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is bullying that is done with a computer or smartphone. People can be even meaner when they are hiding behind a keyboard. It is important to only interact with people we know online. If someone calls you names or starts being mean in other ways through the computer, you should tell someone immediately.

Community Safety

Playing outside, going to the community pool, and being on sports teams are some of the most fun parts of childhood. Keeping some safety tips in mind can keep them from turning into dangerous activities. When you are outside playing, try to stay with friends instead of venturing off on your own. Always let your parents or a trusted adult know where you are going and when you will be back. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, tell someone. And never get into a car or go anywhere with someone you do not know.

Also, be on the lookout for people who may be doing things they shouldn’t in the community. Vandals might write on walls or destroy property in other ways. Thieves steal things that aren’t their own. If you see any of this type of behavior, you should tell a trusted adult. Don’t approach the vandal or thief yourself, as that may put you in danger.

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