Safety Tips For Kids
- Always tell your parents where you will be. Never go anywhere without permission. Keep your parents informed of your whereabouts.
- Travel in groups or with a buddy. There is safety in numbers.
- Never travel in dark and lonely areas.
- Never get into cars with strangers for any reason. Never hitchhike. Never take presents from strangers.
- Never let anyone touch you -- especially in an area covered by a bathing suit, and if anyone does, you should tell someone about it. If anyone touches you in a way that feels bad, yell and tell. It is your body and no one has a right to make you feel bad. This includes friends and relatives.
- Don't answer the door when you are home alone or tell people you will be home alone.
- If someone persists in calling or trying to get in, call the police (911) at once.
- Never baby-sit in a home you do not know.
- DO NOT RUN AWAY FROM HOME. If things are impossible at home, speak to your teacher or minister about it. They will help you. Nothing is impossible. There are people who will help you. If you run away, you will be at the mercy of the people on the street.
- Never accept any offers of alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.
Safety Tips For Parents
- Have your child fingerprinted and keep the card in a safe, accessible place. Keep photos with the fingerprints and keep them updated along with an accurate description, including scars, etc. The Muscogee County Sheriff's Office frequently performs this service at schools, day care centers and shopping centers.
- Be sure your younger children know how to use the telephone and who to call (including 911).
- Know where your child is at all times.
- Never leave your child alone in a car.
- Don't put your child's name -- first or last -- on hats, caps, jackets, bikes, etc. Remember, a child responds to a first name. A person using that name will automatically not be thought of as a stranger.
- Teach your children to avoid strangers.
- Don't let your younger children wander alone in the shopping centers. If they get lost, tell them to go to a police officer, security officer or a cashier for help.
- Know your children's friends.
- Get involved in your children's activities.
- Teach your children which homes are "safe" to go into when you're not around.
- Listen when your child tells you that he or she doesn't want to be with someone. Find out why.
- Notice if someone pays undue attention to your child.
- Never belittle any fear or concern your child has -- real or imaginary.
Home Security Checklist
- Be sure your outdoor lighting illuminates all entrances to your home.
- Shrubbery should be cut back to discourage burglars from hiding near your window and doors. Keep your yard well maintained. Store ladders and tools in a locked area when not using them.
- All entrances should be kept locked at all times, including your garage door.
- Install a peephole in your front door.
- Windows and sliding glass doors should be secured with auxiliary locks or pinned with a nail. To avoid having your sliding glass doors removed during a burglary, leave the screws in the track.
- Deadbolt locks should be used on all exterior doors (single or double cylinder with a minimum one inch throw is recommended).
- Don't hide keys in mailboxes, planters or under doormats. These are the first places burglars look. If you have a trusted neighbor, give them a key.
- If you return home and think your home has been entered, don't go in. Call the police from a neighbor's home or public telephone.
When Away From Home, Be Sure to Take the Following Precautions:
- Make sure your home appears occupied. Put timers on your lights and set them to go off at different times.
- Have your newspaper and mail held, or picked up by a friend or neighbor.
- Close and lock your garage door. Don't forget to disconnect the automatic opener.
- Do not close all drapes or blinds. This is a dead giveaway that you are out of town.
- Notify the police that you are leaving town, and provide them with the dates you will be away and an emergency phone number.
Tips for Avoiding Crime When You are Away from Home
- Don't carry large sums of money, jewelry or valuables.
- Don't park your car or walk in dark or poorly lit areas.
- Don't drive through unfamiliar neighborhoods or on dark streets. If you are lost, drive to the nearest public place and ask for directions.
- Never leave small children unattended in your vehicle.
- Always drive with your car doors locked.
- Never leave your car key in an unattended automobile.
- Don't leave your packages in your car where they will be visible to thieves. Instead, lock all valuables inside your trunk.
- Don't leave your credit cards in the glove compartment.
- Try not to become a creature of habit. Vary your route and schedule for shopping and conducting personal business.
Basic Facts About Auto Theft
One in five stolen vehicles are left unlocked with the keys in the ignition. When leaving your car, close the windows, lock the doors and take keys with you. Over half of all vehicle thefts occur in residential neighborhoods. If you have a garage, use it! Lock the vehicle and the garage door. If you don't have a garage, lock the car and turn the wheels to the left or right. This makes a thief's job harder. More than two-thirds of total thefts occur after dark. Park in well-lighted areas. If you park in an attended lot or garage, leave only the ignition key with the attendant and do not tell the attendant how long you will be gone.
One of every five larcenies involves the theft of motor vehicle accessories. Consider investing in an alarm system rather than expensive options. Professional car thieves can strip your vehicle completely within minutes. Engrave your driver license number in a remote location on the radio and accessories, as well as the fenders and doors. If a theft occurs, your driver license number will make identification recovery and prosecution more likely.
The longer it takes to steal a car, the more likely a thief will look elsewhere. Automobile manufacturers regularly improve anti-theft equipment they install in vehicles. You may want to consider an anti-theft bar that attaches to your steering wheel, an alarm system or other equipment that will slow down a thief and make the thief look elsewhere.
Tips on Recognizing Gang Activity
A youth gang is a group of people who get together on a regular basis to carry out violent, illegal, or anti-social activities, including intimidation, assault, vandalism, burglary and murder. Gang members come from all races and social classes. They can be male or female, starting as young as 7-years-old.
The following signs will help you recognize if someone is involved in a gang:
- Hanging out with a new group of friends.
- Showing a change in personality or behavior.
- Abusing alcohol or other drugs.
- Frequently bruised or injured.
- Using unusual hand signs, nicknames or street language.
- Carrying guns, knives or other weapons.
- Writing strange symbols (graffiti) on notebooks and folders.
- Withdrawing from family members or friends.
- Having trouble at school with grades or discipline.
- Obtaining money and valuables without your knowledge.
- Wearing tattoos, jewelry, hairstyles, or clothing that identify a particular gang.
Buckle up ... It's the Law!
Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death and injury among young children, but it doesn't have to be that way. Each year, hundreds of young lives could be saved and thousands of injuries prevented if children were correctly protected while riding in cars. Wearing a seat belt is not only the safe thing to do, it is the law!
- By law, every child who is over 4 years old and under 18 years old must be restrained by a seat belt in a passenger motor vehicle.
- All front seat occupants, regardless of age, must buckle up, even if the vehicle is equipped with an air bag. The driver is held responsible for passengers 15 years or younger who are not buckled up. Passengers 16 years or older can be individually fined if they are not buckled up.
- Any driver who violates this law will be guilty of "failure to secure a safety belt on a minor." The driver may be fined not more that $25.00.
- All children under 18 years of age must be buckled up, no matter where they are sitting in the vehicle.
- The law applies to all cars, pickup trucks and vans operated on Georgia roads.
- Children through the age of three must be secured in a federally approved child restraint seat or safety belt.