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Protecting your family is your first priority. These are some tips to help you with this sometimes-overwhelming task.


  1. Strongly impose at an early age that your children should never talk or interact with strangers. Tell them in terms they understand what a stranger is and never to go with them.
  2. Teach your child as early as possible their full name, address and phone number. Repetition works best with younger children.
  3. Don’t personalize the outside of your child’s clothing; a stranger may use this to make them feel secure talking to them.
  4. Teach your child how to call 911.
  5. Teach your children how to react, escape and where to go if there is an emergency at your residence such as a fire. Have a pre-arraigned meeting spot such as a neighbor’s house.


  1. Set curfew times. You can contact the police department to find out these times set by ordinance.
  2. Get to know their friends and where they live.
  3. Be aware that the teen years are times to experiment. Don’t ignore the oblivious signs of alcohol use, drug use or other unsafe practices.
  4. Encourage joining team sports, membership in volunteer organizations such as the fire company or church groups.
  5. Network with other parents to see what is going on in your child’s circle of friends.


  1. Set rules and time limits for Internet usage. Check the history file and install parental software to ensure your family’s safety.
  2. Never give out personal information on the Internet such as address or phone numbers.
  3. Never agree to meet strangers from on-line conversations. You have no idea who you may be really talking to.
  4. Check your child’s Facebook, My Space or other social networking pages. Make sure there is no personal information contained on these pages and see who are on their friends list. Remember the Internet should be regarded as a privilege to use, not a right to privacy.