- Family and Parenting
Keep Child Safe in the Neighborhood
Keeping a child safe in the neighborhood is vital to everyone. Parents can teach their children the steps to success. A mother worried about her eight-year-old who walked some distance from the school bus to his home. Another mother said she trusts her nine year old child and considers him safe walking in the area, while others in the group were hesitant. She felt that way, because she believes family members abduct more children than do strangers. Many thoughts come to mind while considering an answer to the safety of children. Stay tuned to learn the elements to consider when deciding the steps to success.
Walking to School
This hub is based on a question about how old a child should be to walk alone from a school bus to his distant home. This question brings up many issues to consider. How can you keep a child safe in the neighborhood? Learn the answers here.
Steps to Success
Sixty years ago, life was different and children were safer. School buses did not exist, and children walked everywhere, often unaccompanied. Nowadays, kidnappings, molestations, and other crimes occur. They may be in the minority, but precautions are primary. Parents must consider the following in making a decision about what age any child may walk safely in the neighborhood.
Maturity and common sense of child - If a child is mature, and parents have taught precautions and common sense, it might be feasible for him to walk in the neighborhood. He needs to know safe places to go if the need arises. - a neighbor, library, store, gas station and then he can call a parent. Carrying a cell phone to alert the parents of any concern is important.. Parents might instruct him to call home, when he safely arrives at his destination.
Size of area - Parents must consider if they live in a town or large city and evaluate safety in that area. The crime rate in the city is usually higher.
Crime rate in the area - If a child lives in a high crime area, it might not be safe for him to walk in that neighborhood by himself. He might need someone to take him to and from his destination. Someone can meet him at the school bus.. A mom from the website "circle of moms.com" lived in a nice neighborhood where two children were stolen. One was playing in the yard with a friend, and one was walking with a friend. For these reasons, she is opposed to young children walking by themselves. Usually, safety in numbers works, but in this case,tragedies resulted.
Parental education -It is imperative that parents educate children about precautions and practice walking the areas that the child would walk to scope the situation. Teaching how to avoid strangers and their cars and about crossing streets are musts for teaching a child safety.
Know your neighborhood - Families can join a neighborhood association. If there is none, parents should be aware of the makeup the neighborhood and any persons who could be a danger to the child. They need to check the sex crimes list to be alert to anyone who might live in the area. In most communities talking to neighbors usually results in details of the neighborhood.
Know your child's friends and parents and their phone numbers - It is vital to know where your children are and all the contact information about the friends.
The Glamour of the City Conceals High Crime Rate
Keep Child Safe Crossing Street
Statistics and legalities
A reputable website "livingstreets.com" advises as follows: "There is no law prohibiting children from being out on their own at any age. It is a matter of judgment for parents to decide when children can play out on their own, walk to the shops or school." The Department of Justice gives the following statistics: Nearly 800,000 children younger than 18 are missing each year, or 2,185 each day. More than 200,000 abductions were by family members and more than 58,000 abductions were by non family members.
As you can see, the question is not easy to answer, as it depends on various factors. The fear factor enters the question because of publicized cases, school violence, and abductions. The chances of a child being abducted walking in the neighborhood is probably very slim. No parent wants to take a chance, especially if he is aware of an incident. Cases like the abduction and recovery of Elizabeth Smart are on the minds of everyone. All parents can do is follow the above guidelines, to keep their child safe and realize that other factors are out of their control. Children are precious commodities, and hopefully, most parents are cautious about considering the maturity of the child. The sun rises and sets for the children. They are like little rays of sunshine. Hope for safety for all the little ones will remain in the hearts and minds of parents forever.
Information from the Dept Of Justice
- Information on Missing Children
Shows statistics on missing children
- Kid-Safe : Neighborhood Watch
Kid-Safe : Neighborhood Watch - A refernece page for parents, educations, civic and community leaders to encourage and equip families to start a "Safe Communities" Neighborhood Watch program.
- How to keep your child safe from predators | HLNtv.com
Editor's note: Julia Cook is a former teacher and school guidance counselor and author of "Kid Trapper." She is the recipient of several book awards, including the Association for Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award. Her books insp
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