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Posted on Jul 17, 2013

Keeping Children Safe

Children are our most valuable possession. MCSO has several tips to keep your kids safe and out of dangerous situations.

STRANGER DANGER

Even at an early age, you can help your child remain safe by having them commit to and understand these simple rules that help them avoid danger, especially from strangers…

  • Before going anywhere, I will get permission from my parents by telling them where I am going, who I am going with, how I am getting there, who is going with me and how I will be getting back.
  • I will get permission from my parents before getting into a car or leaving with anyone, including people I know. I will not change my plans or accept money or gifts without telling my parents. If someone offers me drugs, I will tell a grown-up immediately.
  • I will use the "buddy" system whenever possible and will avoid playing or going places by myself.
  • I will not keep it a secret if a grown-up touches me in a way that makes me feel confused, but will tell a grown-up I trust. Also, I won’t feel guilt if it happens because it is not my fault.
  • I will trust my feelings and will share them with grown-ups I trust. They care about me and I am not alone.
  • If I feel unsafe, I will never give up and will continue asking for help until I get it.
  • I will keep myself safe because I am a special person who deserves it.

CAR SEAT SAFETY

  • Florida law requires children under 5 years of age to be properly restrained no matter where they are seated in the vehicle.
  • Children through age 3 must be secured in a separate carrier (child safety seat) or in a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child safety seat.
  • For children ages 4 – 5, a separate carrier, an integrated child safety seat, or a safety belt may be used. If a safety belt does not fit the child correctly, a booster seat should be used to correctly position the lap and shoulder belts once they outgrow forward facing child safety seats (generally at about 40 pounds and 4 years old).
  • Children from approximately 40-80 pounds and under 4’9" in height should ride in a booster seat.
  • Infants must ride rear-facing until they are at least one year old and weigh 20 pounds or more. Rear-facing, the infant should be semi-upright at an angle or no more than 45 degrees. A forward-facing older child should ride sitting upright.
  • Never place a child in a child safety seat in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with a passenger air bag.
  • Always use the back seat.
  • Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended.

DROWNING PREVENTION

  • NEVER leave children unsupervised in or around a body of water – even for a moment. Children can drown in as little as two inches of water in less than one minute.
  • Install a self-closing gate around the pool.
  • Alarm every door leading to water to alert you if a child has gone outside.
  • Teach children water and swimming skills.
  • During pool parties or family beach gatherings, designate an adult to watch the children.
  • Remove any toys that may attract children to the pool area.
  • Install a pool cover to securely cover the water area.
  • Install a poolside, cordless phone.
  • Keep lifesaving equipment – a pole, life preserver and rope – in the pool area.
  • Children with long hair should clip it back or wear a cap in the pool.
  • Avoid keeping water in buckets or other large containers when toddlers are home.
  • Don’t rely only on flotation devices to protect your children in the water.