Today is National Missing Children's day. I'm by no means a safety expert but I know there are a lot of resources and articles available on child safety. Some of them are listed at the end of this post. Instead of rehashing all the advice, I'll like to share with you a few things I'm doing to keep my twins safe - there's still 18 months but it's never too early to start
- Order a free safety kit from the Polly Klaas foundation. I ordered mine same time I was ordering my diaper and formula freebies. The foundation sent informational publications which I found to be very practical and helpful. Here's a link to their order page. One big plus is that orders can also be made from outside the US
- Download the FBI child ID app which is available for both iPhone and Android users (didn't do this but wish there was a Canadian equivalent)
- Allow the "No". One of the developments of this stage is that both girls have learnt to say no. It irks me but it's a trait that should be developed beneficially. Studies show that confident children who are able to say "No" to an adult figure stay safer. As parents are the premier adults in kids' lives, it's important not to smother their demonstrations of confidence and independence.
- Manage the stranger-danger stage. Right now Spice clings up to me and does the koala bear thing if a stranger so much as looks at her. My inclination has been to reassure her and encourage her to be friendlier with the strangers until I realized I don't want to go to the other extreme of letting her think every stranger is a friend. The balance I'm working towards (not close to being there yet) is instilling a sense of "it's ok if mommy and daddy say it's ok"
- Never ever skip the referee or background check stage of hiring a caregiver or someone who will spend any amount of time alone with the kids. Once the kids know the faces, they're no longer strangers. In the same vein, I'm very leery of daycare centers when the inspection details show that they skipped on background and criminal checks for their employees
Online Resources on Missing Children and Child Safety
- Association of Missing and Exploited Children's Organizations - Here you can find the links to several organizations in both US and Canada that deal with issues surrounding child safety
- Kids in the know - Offers safety sheets and activities for various ages from kindergaten up. This is a Canadian website
- Child Find Alberta - Provide educational presentations to children
- Yahoo article with further links and ideas
- Youthlink Calgary - A resource provided by the Calgary police
- Child Safe Canada - Calgary based organization that offers several child safety courses
Have a great weekend and stay safe. Linking up to Multiples Monday