Safeguarding Our Children

    “Safeguarding Our Children,” Ensign, Sept. 1985, 62–63

    Safeguarding Our Children

    With the dangers our children are exposed to in today’s world, many parents feel a heightened concern for their children’s safety. “What can we do to protect our child?” they ask.

    President Spencer W. Kimball has said: “I implore you mothers and fathers of Zion to keep a constant watchcare over your children. Teach them to beware of the growing danger of evil and designing men and pray ever for your children’s welfare.” (Ensign, Nov. 1982, p. 5.)

    To Safeguard Your Children—

    1. Keep hair samples, up-to-date pictures of your children (including descriptions of distinguishing marks), and copies of their fingerprints and dental records.

    2. Know where your children are at all times and who they are with.

    3. Never leave young children alone at home or in a car.

    4. Establish well-understood, consistent procedures for picking your children up from school or activities.

    5. Don’t dress children in clothes or give them lunchboxes that have their names printed on them. Knowing a child’s name can help a stranger entice a child.

    6. Keep children who are riding in cars fastened in car seats or seat belts, and keep car doors locked.

    7. Encourage mutual trust between you and your children, and investigate any report from your child of attempted molestation.

    Your Children Should Know—

    1. Their full names, their parents’ full names, their address, and their phone number.

    2. How to answer the phone without giving information that might help an intruder, how to use the 911 emergency number, and how to make a long-distance phone call.

    3. The danger of being kidnapped or molested, and how to recognize potential problem situations.

    4. That the private parts of their bodies are not to be touched by anyone and that they are to report such activity immediately.

    5. That police officers can be trusted for help and are their friends.

    6. The danger of going alone to isolated places and public rest rooms or of going anywhere with any stranger.

    7. The importance of staying close to a parent, relative, or friend.

    8. How to notice and remember a person’s identifying characteristics, such as height, hair and eye color, voice quality, dress, unusual marks; also how to notice car color, size, and license numbers.

    9. The importance of yelling and protesting if a stranger tries to pick them up or take them somewhere.

    You may want to introduce some of these ideas in a family home evening lesson, then drill with your children until you are sure that they know it. (Information for this article taken from “Safety Precautions for Women and Children,” PXRS0497, a pamphlet prepared by the Relief Society. It can be purchased for $.10 through Church distribution centers.)