All over the news this week was the heartbreaking story of six year old Etan Patz who was kidnapped on his way to school in NYC in 1979. It’s every parents worst nightmare. His disappearance inspired missing kids photos to be placed on milk cartons, I have vivid memories of this growing up eating my cereal. They didn’t have the technology back then to locate your children in a convenient and reliable way, today that is not the case. Free smartphone apps like Life360 Family Locator allow you to find your children and see that they’re safe. Even if your kids don’t have smartphones, Life360 has a premium option so you can still locate them. We like the app since it gets everyone in the habit of checking in with each other day-to-day, not just when an emergency takes place. There are also other safety products available like Dropcam for keeping an eye on your house and child ID bracelets which store emergency information online. Take advantage of today’s technology to protect your family!
There are many tips all over the web on how to talk to your kids about strangers and safety without scaring them. Here are 5 Hot Mom quick safety tips.
1. Do not put their names on their backpacks. If you want to personalize use initials. If a stranger calls out their name they might be more inclined to go to them.
2. Make sure your kids walk in a group, always have them walk with at least one friend, two to three is ideal.
3. Use a family password, should you ever change plans and send someone unexpected to get him. Teach them that they should not go anywhere with someone who does not know the password.
4. Teach your children that strangers can simply be anyone they don’t know, often kids imagine strangers as mean dirty looking people. If they are lost teach them to ask a mom with kids for help or someone trustworthy like a police officer etc…
5. Create action plans for various scenarios, if you are late picking them up from school etc… be clear on what they should do in each. Being prepared and confident