Kid safety checklist

Have you taught your child to recite his or her name, address and phone number? Sometimes putting the information in a simple song may help a child remember.

Does your child understand that he or she should never get in a car with anyone but Mom or Dad?

If you must send someone else to pick up your child, do you have a secret code word? Does your child know to always ask for that code word (while standing a safe distance from the vehicle) before getting into anyone else's car?

Does your child know not to get into cars or go into the houses of neighbors he or she doesn't know very well? (Go over a list of acceptable neighbors.)

Have you explained to your child that, if lost or in danger, he or she can locate a pay phone and dial 911? Children should know that they do not need money to call 911.

Does your child know to never use a public restroom alone?

Does your child know that it is okay to say "no" to adults?

Does your child know to be as loud as possible if he or she is in danger?

Does your child know that it's okay to use physical violence, such as kicking, if he or she needs to protect himself or herself from harm?

Does your child know to never exit an area (such as a store, the mall, or a zoo), even if the person helping asks him or her to step outside?

Does your child know to approach a police officer if he or she has a problem?

Does your child know to approach uniformed personnel if he or she is in danger? Can your child identify employee uniforms?

Does your child know the body parts that are unacceptable for others to touch?

Does your child know to shout "no" or "stop" if someone touches him or her inappropriately?

Does your child know that you trust his or her instincts, and that even if your child makes a bad choice with an innocent stranger, you will support him or her?

Does your child understand that even trusted people shouldn't ask him or her to do something that makes him or her uncomfortable? Only 1.4 percent of abductions are by total strangers!

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