Keeping your children safe

Recent police reports of inappropriate approaches to children has again highlighted the importance of helping children to recognise behaviour danger.

We encourage schools to follow police advice and lead conversations with children and young people about spotting unusual behaviour which might make them feel uncomfortable, unsafe or scared.

An example might be an inappropriate touch, unwanted stares and random requests on social media for photos or personal information.

We support the Police’s Keeping Ourselves Safe programme for schools which is working with school leaders, parents, whānau and caregivers to teach young children how to detect behaviour dangers and deal with them.

Parents do play a more active role and may share information online about suspicious approaches to children, but we would always encourage parents to work with local police and schools to ensure that the information they’ll share online is accurate and won’t create unnecessary confusion and concern.

Police advise that there are a number of things parents and caregivers can do to make their child safer. They include:

  • teach your child how to get safely to and from school and other places they go – whether they walk, bike or go by bus
  • make clear rules about getting home
  • go to school with your child so you can show them the safest route. Try to use main arterial routes with more people around and avoid walkways and isolated areas
  • teach them to deal with hazards like narrow footpaths or busy roads
  • teach your child to use pedestrian crossings
  • teach the children to walk home together in twos or small groups, not alone
  • make other arrangements if someone is away
  • teach kids that they should call 111 if they have immediate concern about their safety.

Advice for kids

  • Trust your ‘gut instinct’.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation.
  • Tell someone if you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or scared.
  • If the first person doesn’t help, keep trying until someone does.

Find further information on Keeping Ourselves Safe

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