Keeping Our Kids Safe During Summer Break
Your Kids Are Out for the Summer. Do You Know Where They Are or What They Are Doing?
School is out. Summer is here. For some teens, that means a summer job. For others, that means camps or vacations. For many, that means more free time to relax, be with friends, and spend time outdoors. However, the summertime can also present unsuspected dangers. Listed below are some important safety subjects to discuss with your teen.
Being safe in a neighborhood starts with learning the neighborhood, and which neighbors or situations to avoid. Being familiar with their surroundings will help a teen know when things do not seem right. Programs such as neighborhood watches can make neighborhoods safer.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), “over 7,300 teen drivers and passengers ages 13 – 19 died in traffic crashes between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays during the five-year period of 2005 – 2009.” Parents can protect their teen by:
- Placing restrictions on driving, especially during the teen’s first year of solo driving. “Teens have three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers… and a teen’s crash risk is highest during the first year of solo driving.”
- Limiting night driving. A teen driver’s chances of being involved in a deadly crash doubles when driving at night. “The AAA recommends that newly-licensed teens not drive after 9 or 10 p.m. unless accompanied by a responsible adult.”
- Restricting the number of teen passengers and your teen’s time as a passenger. “Fatal crash rates for 16- to 19-year-olds increase fivefold when two or more teen passengers are present versus when teens drive alone.”
While it is amazing technology, the internet can pose a danger to those who are not cautious when using it. Some safety tips for teens using the internet include:
- Never post your personal information on any social media site or mobile apps. This includes your address, home phone number, cell phone number, or your location.
- Never meet in person with anyone that you meet on the internet unless your parents are with you to assess the safety of the situation.
- Never share your password with anyone, except your parents or guardian. Others, even your friends, may post inappropriate or damaging messages that appear to come from you.
- Do not post any nude or inappropriate photos of yourself or others. Once online they are almost impossible to delete and can be viewed and forwarded by many unintended recipients.
- Your parent or guardian can help you if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation involving the internet. Talk to your parents right away. They can help you.
Parents should seek to ensure that their child is only placed in safe situations where abuse cannot occur. Parents should also look for warning signs that their child might be being sexually abused. “Studies show that in as many as nine out of 10 cases, kids don’t tell anyone when they are being sexually abused.”
The Stop It Now! Organization has a Tip Sheet: Four R’s of Prevention, which are Rules, Read, Respect and Responsibility. This tip sheet is a good start for educating parents on preventing child sexual abuse. Parents can also search the national Sex Offender Registry at www.nsopw.gov and state Sex Offender Registries at http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/registry/registry.
Being aware of potential dangers and ways to prevent them can help your teen enjoy a SAFE and FUN summer!
Sources: Stopitnow.org & Newsroom.AAA.com
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact our office to setup a free consultation today.