Talking to the children in your life about being aware of their surroundings and being safe is important. However, those discussions don’t end with “stranger danger”, a slogan that many now believe to be misleading and should be retired in favor of “being smart about strangers”. Below you will find resources gathered for several internet sources regarding adolescent safety in several areas – school, bullying, social circles, the internet and technology, as well as many others.
These can be difficult topics to talk about, and experts say having many or continuing discussions is key rather than sitting down for a discussion once and never doing so again. You will also find links on key questions to ask, how to broach the various topics of bullying or school safety, as well as how parents can recognize when their child needs help.
The Tulare County Sheriff's Office encourages the community to be the eyes and the ears where they cannot, but before that comes parents and children learning where and how to best keep themselves safe and aware of their surroundings.
Internet Safety - Interactive pages for children:
NetSmartz, a website run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children covers topics broken up by several adolescent age groups and shows through interactive learning how to be safe on the internet. Their discussion topics include how to keep your information safe on the Web, cyberbullying, identify theft, and many other topics.
The following links are informational articles for adults:
Children and Safety:
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is moving beyond the message of “stranger danger” and the concept that only strangers can be a threat to children as well as the idea of "good strangers" and "bad strangers". Instead, critical thinking on the part of parents and their children are key to safety out in public regardless of if the child is in the presence of a parent, adult, or trusted guardian or not.
Children in school face drills and safety training on a yearly basis, if not more frequently. There are also anti-bullying programs in place in many schools, however that learning may not always continue outside of the classroom or auditorium Included are some of many links and educational sites for parents and children about being safe in school.
Drugs And Alcohol:
Talking about drugs and alcohol doesn't have to wait until high school or after the first incident. That discussion can begin early in childhood and continue and evolve as children grow. It's a difficult topic to breach, but worthwhile as popular culture, media, and peer pressure encourage drug and alcohol use in situations that range from socially or at events to every day life. The following links include education, discussion topics, facts and statistics, and how to find help.
Talking About It:
Having a discussion about safety with adolescents can be difficult. There's no one "right way" to talk to them about keeping themselves safe in different situations, and following are links on how to start a conversation, or about asking questions.