November is Child Safety Protection Month.
At Linked Investigations, we know that your child’s safety is your top priority. Even so, it’s always good to reiterate tips for keeping your family members safe.
In August, we shared a post about back to school safety. Many of the tips that we shared can be applied all year around. We encourage you to emphasize the importance of safety awareness to your children. Make sure that they know what to do in case of an accident or emergency.
Here are some important questions to ask your children:
- What’s your name?
- Where do we live?
- What’s my name? If your child is very young, you can still refer to yourself as Mom, Dad, Grandma, etc. If not, you want to make sure your child knows your first and last name so that it’s easier to identify the correct person of contact.
- Do you know our phone number?
- Do you know who to call if you can’t reach me? This can be a work number, family member, or other emergency number in the event they can’t reach you. It’s important to also emphasize that 911 is for emergencies only—such as when they are in danger and cannot reach anyone else.
It’s also important to remind children not to accept gifts or rides from strangers, no matter how nice or persistent they may be. We live in an age of ride sharing, but remember that children under 18 cannot ride by themselves in an Uber or Lyft.
No matter how much your teens may act like adults, they are still children. Research shows that our brains aren’t fully developed until we reach the age of 25. That’s why it’s especially important to consider teen safety this month. Many teens will make decisions that could put themselves in harm’s way without a second thought. The CDC reported that as of 2008, unintentional injuries were the leading cause of death for children aged 19 and under. Many of these were related to drowning, falls, fires and burns, poisoning, suffocation, and transportation.
Often, these accidents can be prevented completely through awareness and by doing your best to avoid leaving your child alone or unattended. Children’s Bureau, an organization that works with vulnerable families to prevent child abuse, recommends families work together as a community to raise awareness, do community activities, and get to know your neighbors. In doing so, your child’s safety net grows.
However, you shouldn’t force your child to be around someone who makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe. This is especially true for authority figures—like caregivers, teachers, tutors, or coaches—in your child’s life. Just because they are in a position of authority does not automatically mean that they are a good person. We encourage you to look into getting a background check on any new adult figure in your child’s life, especially if they are going to be spending extended time around your family or home. If you are in a blended or separated family, you may also want to consider a background check for any new friends or family members that you don’t know as well.
Safe Kids Worldwide also has a handy tip page with resources for keeping your children safe.
In some cases, hiring a licensed private investigator can be a big help when it comes to your child’s safety. An investigator can conduct a detailed background check on any new individuals in your child’s life to search for any criminal history, sex offender records, or additional information that may be of interest. They can also offer surveillance in the event that you are unsure of your child’s location or their interaction with certain individuals.
If you feel you need the services of a licensed private investigator to ensure the safety of your child, contact Linked Investigations for more information and to schedule your free consultation. Owner Mike Garroutte has been a private investigator since 1982, and is licensed in the state of California.