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What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers

What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers
Keeping Children Safe

Monday, June 8, 2015

First Aid Training for Children

Since some children, particularly older ones, are sometimes left alone, it’s important that they know how to administer first aid. Parents should teach their children basic first aid so that they can deal with any situation that arises. There are resources for teaching first aid to children, such as books and on-line resources. Such resources can be found in the marketplace, on the Internet, and in libraries. There are also courses available that children can take.
Children Learning First Aid

According to an About .com article, “Children, First Aid and What Your Tween Should Know”, by Jennifer O’Donnell, expert on children’s issues, the first thing that children need to learn in emergencies is to remain calm. They need to be taught not to panic by taking deep breaths, focusing on what needs to be done, and doing it step by step.

Children also need emergency contact information. Such contact information should include phone numbers of trusted adults, the police, the poison control center, the fire department, and the family doctor. Children should also understand how and when to call 911. 

Children need to know how to stock a first aid kit. According to an article, “Teaching First Aid to Kids”, posted on the website, Five J’s: Striving to Raise Lifelong Learners, a good first-aid kit should include bandages, sterile adhesive tape, gauze pads; scissors, safety pins,  tweezers, a flashlight, cotton balls, a non-glass thermometer, latex first aid gloves, alcohol wipes, anti-bacterial ointment, an instant ice pack, a bottle of distilled water, a first-aid chart or book, and a list of emergency contact phone numbers. 

Once the children have stocked their first aid kits, parents should review and explain how to use them. Parents should teach their children to clean and bandage surface wounds. Parents should demonstrate to their children how to activate the emergency ice pack, and how to use it to treat sprains or swellings. Parents should show their children how to remove splinters with tweezers.
Some parents may feel inadequate teaching first aid to their children. Such parents can have their children learn first aid through classes, such as those offered through the Red Cross. The link to information about Red Cross classes is provided in the Resources section.

First Aid Books and Resources

Regardless of the amount of first aid instruction children are given, they may forget it when the time comes to react. Providing children with a user friendly first aid book or guide is essential. There are many first-aid books on the market for children, as well as downloadable charts on the Internet.
Parents should look for specific criteria in choosing a good first aid book for children. Children’s First aid books should walk them through any situation they may face. A good first aid book for children should explain how to handle basic emergencies, such as animal bites, insect bites, snake bites, bleeding, burns, bumps, blisters, splinters, and eye injuries. It should also include instructions for dealing with choking; fainting, and drowning.  Also included should be instructions for dealing with sprains, broken bones, frostbite and hyperthermia.
According to various reviews in The School Library Journal, the following books are three very good first aid book choices to consider. They can be found in most bookstores, on-line bookstores, and in libraries.
1. Karen Buhler Gales book, The Kids' Guide to First Aid: All about Bruises, Burns, Stings, Sprains, and Other Ouches (Williamson Publishing Company, 2001), is geared to children in fourth through sixth grade. This is an exceptional book providing children with information for responding to bumps, cuts, bruises, stings, splinters, and more serious situations such as burns and choking. It also provides instruction on performing the Heimlich maneuver and stopping bleeding. Each section provides a situation and explains what to do and when and whom to call for assistance, if needed.
2.Maribeth and Darwin Boelts’ book, Kids to the Rescue (Parenting Press, 2003), is geared for ages four to eight. It is a collection of scenarios for role playing. It begins with basic first aid emergencies such as nosebleeds and advances through 14 first aid emergencies children could face. In each scenario, a common activity results in an accident. Each accident scenario is punctuated with a list of appropriate first aid techniques.
3. First Aid for You, by Rebecca Weber (Compass Point Books, 2004), is geared for Kindergarten through third grade. This kid-friendly book teaches children how to deal with cuts, scrapes, bites, stings, bruises, broken bones, choking and other common first aid emergencies.
In addition to first aid books for children, parents can find free printable resources, lesson plans, and other first aid information for children via the website, Teacher Vision. Parents can download and print a free first aid coloring book via the website, Scribd. They can access a first aid coloring book, an emergency first aid CPR chart, a printable chart of first aid procedures, and first aid games via the website, Scouting Web. Links for all of these free first aid materials are listed in the Resources section. 

Picture credit: Christian Svensson  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Kid Power: Empowering Children to Stay Safe from Abuse, Abduction, or Predator Harm

Below is an excerpt from a very small part of chapter 1 of my children’s book, What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers. The last sentence in this excerpt makes reference to children learning to take an active part in protecting themselves. Children can’t be with their parents all of the time. My book presents strategies for children to employ to become proactive in keeping themselves safe from stranger threat, abduction, abuse or predator harm. In short, it develops kid power and street-smart kids. The book also has a chapter for parents, grandparents, teachers, and other child caregivers.

            The world seems like a scary place sometimes, doesn’t it? You hear adults talking about bad things that happen. That can be pretty frightening to you as a child in a grown-up world.  You hear about war and terrorists.  You hear about killer storms.  Sometimes you even hear news reports about child abductions.  Do you know what it means to be abducted?  If a child is abducted, it means he is taken against his will by someone.
The abductor might harm him or ask him to do something that may
make him feel uncomfortable.  
Most children who are abducted are returned safely. A smart and tough team of police officers and special police from the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) carefully look for them.  Nevertheless, hearing stories of such things can be terrifying.  Don’t worry!  Our country is doing everything it can to protect you from terrorists, natural disasters and storms.  Your parents will try to protect you from any kind of harm or threat from a possible abductor.  And you will learn in this guidebook that you can take an active part in protecting yourself as well.

My book is available online through Amazon, Books-a-Million, Barnes & Noble, and through Follett, Ingrams, and Baker & Taylor cataloges. Here is the Amazon link for What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers

Monday, March 9, 2015

Safe Screen Names and Passwords for Children

I am pleased to post a guest blog today from Keir McDonald, MBE. Keir McDonald, MBE, is founder and Director of EduCare, an online training solutions company that specializes in child protection, exploitation & online safety, and bullying and child neglect. EduCare is associated with both Kidscape and Family Lives and customers include over 4000 schools and colleges and 12000 pre-schools as well as councils, NHS, charities and more.

Keir McDonald, MBE, of EduCare

Helping children choose safe screen names and passwords
By Keir McDonald MBE

If your child is old enough to be online, he or she is old enough to learn how to choose safe screen names, passwords and protect this personal information. But when it comes to choosing screen names and passwords, many children, especially younger children, need some guidance.
Here are 4 easy tips for parents and educators to help children choose and maintain safe screen names and secure passwords for social media and other online applications.
Do Not Choose Screen Names That Contain Personal Information
Your child should choose screen names that do not include personal information, such as first name, birth date or last name. Begin by helping your kids understand what information should be private so they can make safe screen name choices.
Information such as full given name, Social Security Number, street address, phone number, and family financial information is all private and should stay that way.
Help your child think of a screen name that is fun and impersonal that he or she can remember.
Explain WHY Screen Names Should Not Contain Personal Information
Of course kids should only share content, including what is public via a screen name or profile, that you are both comfortable with others seeing. Encourage your child to think about any and all public information about them online.  Employers, college admissions officers, team coaches, and teachers may view your child’s postings and even a child’s screen name could make a difference.  Encourage children to think about the impression that screen names could make.
Strong Passwords are the Foundation of Online Security
Next, teach children how to choose passwords that are difficult to guess, including making use of capital and lowercase letters, as well as numbers.
A password should be easy to remember but tough to hack. One easy way to remember passwords is to replace a letter with a similar-looking number. For example, using a “1″ in place of an “L” or a “5″ in place of an “S” are easy ways to replace a letter for a number.  Never use “Password” as the password, or things like phone numbers or addresses. 

Encourage your child to maintain a password logbook for both you and your child to have access to, and try to change passwords together every 6 months or so.

Help Your Child Manage Passwords and Keep Them Safe
For younger children, make sure you know all screen names and passwords so you can monitor Internet use. When it comes to young children, knowing their passwords for all social media accounts, email, gaming sites, computer, tablet, and phone is important. This will enable you and your child to be open for communication and to gain trust in technology use over time.
Teenagers should of course be allowed some privacy when it comes to social networking. Regardless of age, it is important to always keep an open line of communication with your child about Internet safety. Talk to your children about the dangers of sharing a password with anyone besides you, even their best friend.