1.Teach your children to run away from danger, never towards it.
Danger is anyone or anything that invades their personal space. Teach them to yell. Their safety is more important than being polite. Teach your children if they are ever followed by a car to turn around and run the other direction to you or a trusted adult. If someone grabs them try through themselves on the floor, kick, scream, move around and fight because it is difficult to be picked up when your full weight is on the ground.
2.Never let your children go to places alone.
Always supervise your young children or make sure there is a trusted adult present to supervise them if you cannot. Make sure your older children always take a friend with when they go somewhere.
3.Know where your children are and who is with them at all times.
Remind your children to never take anything or respond in any way if approached by someone they do not know. Teach them to run away as quickly as they can to you or a trusted adult.
4. Talk openly to your children about safety.
In addition to this, encourage them to tell you or a trusted adult if anyone or anything makes them feel frightened, confused or uncomfortable. Discuss security issues with your children so they will understand the need for precautions. Advise your older children about steps they can take to help safeguard themselves. Know your children’s friends and their families. Pay attention to your children and listen to them. If you don’t, there is always someone else who will.
5.Practice what you preach by creating “what if” scenarios with your children.
This is to make sure they understand the safety message and can use it in a real situation.
6.Consider installing an alarm system in your home with a monitoring feature.
Make sure your home secured with deadbolt locks and ensure landscaping around it does not provide places for people to hide. Check other access points, such as gates, and make sure they have been secured. Consider installing exterior lighting around your home. Make sure your home is fully secured before you go to sleep and items, such as ladders, have been stored inside. Prepare a plan to vacate your home in case of an emergency. This should include, but is not limited to, a fire. Have a plan if an intruder tries or gets into your home.
7.Make your children part of securing your home.
If you have installed an alarm system, demonstrate it to your children and show them how to make sure certain doors and windows are locked. This will not only help them calm their fears but will also help make them part of your “safety plan” at home. Have a safe room in the house and keep a cellphone in there for emergencies. In case of an emergency, lock the door and don’t come out before a chosen word by family is said.
8.Have a list of family members who could be contacted in case of an emergency.
Designate a family member or close associate who would be able to fill the role of advisor in case of an emergency.
9. Be aware of your surroundings.
Know the escape routes and plan what you would do in different emergencies. Practice “what if” scenarios, so you will be well-prepared. Know the location of local hospitals and the best routes to reach them. Know how to reach the nearest local law-enforcement agency.
10. Know your employees and co-workers.
Do background screening and reference checks on everyone who works at your home, particularly those individuals who care for your children. Their knowledge of your family is extensive so make sure you have an equivalent understanding of who they are.
11. Consider varying your daily routines and habits.
Do not take the same routes or leave at the same time for your regular errands. If you take your children to school, try to change that route as well.
12.Take steps to secure personal information about yourself.
Consider getting a post office box and a safety deposit box. Have your personal bills sent to your place of work or the post office box. Be discrete about your family’s possessions and family’s personal habits and information. If you or your family purchases something expensive, do not put the item’s box outside your house. Rather tear it up and hide it among your recycled rubbish.
13.Report any suspicious persons or activities to law enforcement.
Do not become complacent about personal security issues.
15.When you are in a mall and a child gets kidnapped, make sure the child calls out the name of the parent rather than mommy or daddy because, at that moment, anyone can be mommy or daddy.
Make sure that at the age of 5, your child knows at least one cellphone number of a parent or close family member. teach them self-defence methods to the eyes, nose, groin etc.
“Prevention is better than cure. We live in terrible times, watch out for your loved ones. Lastly, be upstanding and report to your nearest police station and get a case number so you can spread the incident on social media for all to see. It cuts out that it is a hoax as it can be verified by SAPS,” said Nana Rechner, director and founder of the organisation.