Mary Fernau, the developer of the Who’s Shoes ID™, offers these 10 basic personal safety tips for parents and children:
1. Coach children on what to do in an emergency situation, such as when separated from a parent. Be sure that they know their address, your contact phone numbers, and how to dial 9-1-1.
2. Teach children to never go anywhere without first getting permission from the parent or caregiver. Don’t go looking for lost pets, to someone’s house, riding in a car, etc.
3. Have children wear up-to-date, discreet personal ID at all times.
4. Parents should always carry a current photo ID of their child. Keep fingerprints and DNA samples at home.
5. Before going on an outing, play a game of “What do I look like?” Have your child recite what you look like and what you are wearing that day. Parents, take note of what your child is wearing that day.
6. Tell your child that if she becomes lost to stay where she is. Don’t run around looking for Mom and Dad. Assure the child that you will return to where you last saw her.
7. Instruct children to identify “helpful strangers”: mothers with children, other children, uniformed police officers or store clerks. Teach children to show their ID to another mother or uniformed employee in an emergency situation.
8. Instruct children never to play alone, teach them to stay with at least one other child.
9. Teach children that their body belongs to them and to trust their feelings. Say “NO” and run away from a situation if it doesn’t feel right.
10. Teach children to scream: “Help – you’re not my mommy or daddy,” if someone tries to take them. Teach children to rip off their ID and leave it as a clue for law enforcement agents if a stranger does take them.
Updated August 2012