Here are some websites, books and products that I think are well worth your time to check out:
Robin Sax is a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney who specializes in prosecuting sex crimes against children. Not a pleasant topic, but thank goodness there are people like her who put their passion for helping kids to work for society. Check out her links page for internet safety and crime statistics and legislation websites. For an excerpt from her most recent book, “Predators and Child Molesters: What Every Parent Needs to Know to Keep Kids Safe,” click on the following link: http://blog.rookiemoms.com/predator-proofing-is-a-little-trickier-than-babyproofing/Robin . She’s written numerous books, all of which you can order directly from her website or at most online book retailers.
Gavin de Becker is another great child safety advocate and author. His books, “The Gift of Fear” and “Protecting the Gift” (geared more towards parents) are must-reads. He emphasizes the ability to recognize the potential for danger in a situation or person and then act upon that intuition. His books provide practical, proactive, reality-based techniques to enhance personal safety.
Eyedentity Label temporary tattoos are a great way to keep your contact information or important medical data with a younger child, or someone who may not be able to communicate clearly due to a medical condition. They’re effective in just about any situation (lost child, food allergy reminders, medical alert) because they are customized for each order. The design is a simple bright red and yellow rectangle, meant to be eye-catching without looking like a cute, just-for-fun tattoo.
Amber Alert Registry provides a secure place to store vital information about your child online, where it’s instantly available to law enforcement (you must provide the password) in the event your child goes missing. I’ve seen Amber Alert sticks advertised, but I don’t like that idea for two reasons. First, I’m famous for putting important data in “a special place” so I won’t lose it, and then promptly forgetting where that special place is. We all have too many valuable things to keep track of as it is! And second, if you are away from home you don’t have instant access to the information (unless you keep it in your purse or briefcase, where it could be lost or stolen and the information about your child then viewed/dispersed by a stranger). Check out my Proactive Parent page for more information.
Safety Kids, Inc is a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping kids safe from abduction, violence and exploitation. They have great resources for parents and children, and the main message for kids is simple and effective: Check first before you go anywhere with anyone. Explore the Parents link on your own (“Check-points for safety for parents” is particularly helpful) and then the Kids link with your child (don’t miss “Check-points for safety for kids”).
Kidpower.org is also a non-profit. This organization emphasizes safety and empowerment through wise choices and healthy self-esteem, and the website has some fantastic resources. Click on the Resources tab to sign up for a free newsletter, access the comprehensive and lengthy Library of Articles, and view a long list of books dealing with issues kids of all ages face (listed under “Resources” on the drop-down menu).
If you have some favorites you think other parents would find helpful, please let me know so I can share them (simply click on “leave a comment” at the top of the page). And if you know anyone who could benefit from any of the above resources, please forward a link to my blog at SavvyMomSafeKids.