By Eira Culverwell Oct 2nd, 2016
For parents and guardians, a child’s safety is always at the forefront of priorities.
Whether it be travelling to and from school or out and about playing with friends, there are always situations where a child may be more vulnerable.
RESOLVE it is a community interest company that provides training and workshops that teach young people how to be aware of their surroundings and equip them with techniques that will help them if they are in a situation where they feel vulnerable or threatened.
In light of the recent incidents across Cardiff, which prompted Pontprennau Primary School to send a warning to parents that a ‘man in a black Range Rover tried to entice mother and child into his vehicle’, Dave Wing, director of RESOLVE it, has compiled his top ten tips to improve your child’s personal safety and awareness:
1: Map out a safe way for children to walk to school or to the bus stop. Walk the route with them to make them aware of their surroundings, pointing out friends’ houses that they can go to if ever they need help.
2: Advise them that if someone is following them, they should get away from them as quickly as possible and run to safety. A shop would be a good example of somewhere for them to aim towards.
3: Tell children to always take a step back if a car approaches them, not forward. The driver/passenger can always talk louder and by stepping back the child will have more opportunity to run away should they need to.
4: If your child walks or catches the bus to school, encourage them to do so with a sibling or friend, there is always safety in numbers.
5: Help children memorise their phone number and full address, including post code. This way, if they are ever lost or in a vulnerable situation, they can always have that information to hand.
6: If your child uses headphones to listen to music whilst out and about, advise them not to walk with both headphones in their ears. Hearing is drastically diminished when both ears are covered and awareness of their surroundings will be seriously impaired.
7: Teach them never to go anywhere with a stranger, even if it sounds like fun. Predators can lure kids with questions like "Can you help me find my lost puppy?" or "Do you want to see some cute kittens in my car?”. Remind children that adults they don't know should never ask them to help or to do things for them.
8: Teach children if they are in a situation where a stranger approaches them, to shout "Stop, Stranger!" as loud as they can. Let them know that anyone that is not their parent or guardian who is picking them up from school is a stranger and should not be trying to take them away.
9: Whilst using physical action should always be the last resort, teach children the ‘windmill’ or ‘swimming’ technique. Rotating their arms in a big circle can be an effective way of preventing an attacker from getting a good grip.
10: Think twice about sharing your child’s name on things like Facebook or even labelling their lunchbox where it could be visible to strangers. Children are more inclined to go with someone who knows their name.
Dave Wing, director of RESOLVE it, said: “Our workshops are designed to teach young people strategies in how to stay safe using our four main principles; awareness, avoidance, dialogue and action, through interactive workbooks and personal safety and self-defence techniques.
“The goal of personal safety is not to put yourself in potentially dangerous situations. Using physical action is the last resort.”