For the past few days, the papers have been full of the Coimbatore kidnap and murder case. Muskan(10) and Ritish(7) were kidnapped by a van driver who had worked in their school and his accomplice. No ransom demands were made though that must have been the original idea. The children were simply drowned in the PAP canal. There have also been reports of abuse. This horrible case has shocked the nation and I find myself dwelling on it often. Could not get to sleep one night so I looked up some basic safety tips for kids on the internet and thought I'd share the ones that seemed the most practical and useful.
Teach Safety not Fear: I don't want my children to grow up frightened so I like this concept. Just give them basic information and tell them there are 'bad people' out there. But there is no reason for them not to go out and play provided they follow some rules. My kids are really small so I tell my three year old that she can NEVER go out of the house alone and she must be accompanied at all times by one or more of the people expressly suggested by me (servants are not on my list of 'safe' people for her to go out with.)
Be Involved: It is nice to keep abreast of your kid's activities just so you know what is happening with your child. Take some time out to talk with your lil one everyday and listen to their fears even if it is imagined and even if you are soo stressed out it is ridiculous (This is my early new year resolution). Veda went through a phase when she was scared of Gorillas and needed a lot of reassurance. The point is you need to become their go - to person in times of need. And it is never too early to lay the foundation for that.
If your child is attending school talk to the staff about whom your child should be released to other than yourself. I usually make it a point to pick up Veda myself but if I can't make it, I call the school to let them know who to expect.
Never Leave your Child Unattended: At least in the early stages, kids need constant supervision. Now this is extremely hard to implement, cos it is nigh impossible to be that vigilant. But parents should make an attempt to know where their child is and what he/she is upto at all times. I like to make my kids wear anklets with bells on them. That way I am literally attuned to them. If I cannot hear the bells and they are not sleeping its time to check. Smart huh?
Hope readers find my tips helpful. Good luck to all over anxious parents out there!