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Child Safety

How to Plan for the Unexpected—Part 2

November 6, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

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Annie Babbitt, guest contributor

In the first part of this essay, we discussed how to create and legalize a will. Now let’s move on to the harder task of choosing a guardian and caring for your child in case of unexpected death of you and/or your spouse.

 

Choosing Guardianship

Do not assume that your spouse will automatically gain guardianship over your children when you pass away. If there is no guardian named then anyone can put his or her name forward to be considered. While your spouse has a very high chance of being chosen, it is not a guarantee. State your spouse specifically as guardian, then choose one or two alternatives in case your spouse is unable or unwilling to care for the children, or passes the same time as you.

If you have strong feelings against your children’s other parent having guardianship, be sure to state exactly why in your will, with examples and reasons. The judge will consider all information available before making a final decision.

Thinking about someone else having to raise your children can be very tough and emotional. However, it does need to be given a lot of thought before a decision can be made. Here are some questions to consider when choosing a guardian for your children.

  • Is there someone your children are already close to and comfortable with?
  • Who is financially, physically, and emotionally responsible and stable enough to care for your children?
  • Will this person have the time and energy to give your children the care they need?
  • Does this person have children already, and would your children fit in or get lost in the shuffle?
  • Would your children have to move far away, and would that cause more problems?
  • Does this person have the same parenting style, values, and religious and educational beliefs that you do?
  • Should your children be kept together, or would it be better to name a separate guardian for each child? Separate guardians may be good for children who are far apart in age, for children who have special needs, or if they have special attachments to different people.
  • Should you name one guardian until your child is a certain age, then a different guardian after that? A switch like this can be difficult on a child though, so keep that in mind when considering this option.

 

Your Child

Having one or both parents pass away will be very hard on your child, and the more they know the better they will be able to handle it. If the death is known to be coming, say from a sickness, talk your child through each stage and explain in terms they understand what is going on. If it is sudden, make sure the person caring for your child will give them concrete answers, and be able to answer questions as the child ages and is able to understand more.

Make sure children know who will take care of them in case both parents are gone. Consider writing a letter for your children to have in case something happens, like this blog mom did. Tell them reasons you love them, reassure them, let them know they will be taken care of, give advice, and comfort them.

 

Final Details

Once your will is finalized place it in a safe spot, like a locked filing cabinet, and tell your executor and a couple other trusted friends and family members where it is located. Some banks have very strict rules about who can access safety deposit boxes, so those may cause more hassle than they’re worth if your spouse or executer cannot access your will.

Make sure someone has official permission to pick up your children from school or daycare in case something happens to you and your spouse, and consider naming someone as temporary guardian to care for your children until a judge has named the official guardian.

Once you have your will put together it is a good idea to have it looked over by a professional. This makes sure you have everything you need to make it official, that you have not missed anything, and gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have. Some law firms will offer a 30 minute consulting session, and while finding a lawyer in your area may sound intimidating, it is as simple as searching online for “Ottawa law firm,” or something similar, then making a phone call for what services they offer.

The peace of mind you gain from having a will in place, and a professional reassuring you all will be well for your children if you and/or your spouse pass away, is well worth the money and time it costs.

——

Annie Babbitt writes about her interest in current events, political science and philosophy. Annie loves helping promote change and being an advocate for those in need.

How to Plan for the Unexpected—Part 1

November 1, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

emergency

 

Annie Babbitt, guest contributor

As a parent, you have made the promise to take care of your children until they can take care of themselves, and sometimes for a bit longer. But what happens to your children when the unthinkable happens and you and/or your spouse die unexpectedly? It isn’t the most pleasant topic to think about, and I know you’d much rather be reading about tips for cute Halloween decorations or a new chicken recipe. But planning ahead for the unexpected is the best way to make sure your children are cared for—even after you are no longer able to.

 

What is a Will?

A will is the easiest and most important thing you can put into place as a parent to be sure your child is taken care of after you’re gone. A will sets out in plain terms who you would like to become guardian of your child and to whom your assets go. Many assume that the nearest relative will become guardian of the children, but without a will any friend or family member can put themselves up for candidacy, leaving the judge to choose among them.

Do not confuse estate planning with a will. Estate planning includes a will, but that is only one part of the process. It also includes growing your assets and finances while you are still alive, as well as what happens after death. They are very beneficial, but require meeting with various professionals. A will is much simpler to create.

 

Creating a Will

You do not need a lawyer to create a will, but it will take some time and probably a little money. There are guides and resources online or at the library that will give you something to follow. Here is a basic list of things to write in your will.

  • Pick someone close to you and your family to be your will’s executer after your death. This can be any family member, friend, or a professional like a lawyer or bank. This person will be in charge of making sure your will is carried out and will take care of any paperwork. Make sure to ask them if they are willing before you make it official though!
  • Make a complete list of all your property, including bank accounts, real estate, investments, and life insurance.
  • Decide who you want to inherit what, and when. For instance, if you want your daughter to have your grandmother’s necklace, but not until she is 18, then clearly state this.
  • Choose someone to be the guardian of your children, and then pick one or two alternate guardians just in case the first choice is unable to take the job, or chooses not to. Then decide whether you want the guardian to also be in charge of the assets you leave your children or if you would like someone else to fulfill that role.
  • Consider writing a letter specifying how you would like your children raised—how you want them to be educated, what religious beliefs and values you think are important. Also, specify what you would like your funeral arrangements to be, etc., and update the letter every few years.
  • Be sure to name your spouse as sole beneficiary, otherwise the court may split your property between your spouse and children and assign a state officer to control your children’s portion until they are 18. Naming your spouse as sole beneficiary will allow him or her to use the entire portion of assets to raise your children. You can also name your children as sole beneficiaries in case you and your spouse pass away at the same time.
  • Name a trustee to manage the property passed on to your children. The trustee can also be the guardian, or you can name two different people.

 

Legalizing a Will

To make a will legal it must be typed or computer-produced (handwritten wills are only accepted in some states), it must say in the document that it is your will, and it must be dated and signed. You must sign the will in view of two (some states require three) witnesses, and these witnesses must also sign and date the will confirming that you did this of your own free will and that it is the official will.

Some states require a will to be notarized, so be sure to check if your state does.

Stay tuned for part two of this article, which will discuss choosing a guardian for your child, and making sure all the details are in order.

 ——

Annie Babbitt writes about her interest in current events, political science and philosophy. Annie loves helping promote change and being an advocate for those in need.

Home Safety Guidelines Every Parent Should Know

September 18, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Barbara Johnson, guest contributor

When I was thirteen years old, two young neighborhood boys were playing cowboys in their basement. One found his daddy’s handgun and thought it would be the perfect prop for catching the bad guy. He ended up accidentally shooting his 2-year-old brother, who died instantly. It was traumatic for everyone in the neighborhood. I have lived in rural areas, and I have known three families personally who have had small children drown from accidentally falling into the canal or ditch near their yard.

Home is supposed to be a place of safety and comfort, yet one of the leading causes of accidental death in children is home injuries. These have been extreme examples I have given, but your home can be a dangerous place if the right precautions are not taken. Here are a few tips so you can avoid a traumatic accident, and ensure your home and yard are a place of safety for your children.

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1. Never leave your child alone near water. Any water. It only takes four inches of water for a child to drown. This includes all sinks, tubs, buckets, toilets, swimming pools, kiddie pools, ponds, canals, and ditches. Constantly watch children who are near water; if your child is in the tub and the doorbell rings, wrap them in a towel and take them with you. It only takes a few seconds unattended for them to drown. Make sure all buckets are stored upside down, child locks are on the toilet seat, kiddie pools are emptied after use, and there are fences and locks around all other standing water.

 

2. Keep all chemicals and medications out of reach. This includes all pills, cough syrups, bleach, cleaner, detergent, yard fertilizer, weed killer, lighter fluid, and all others.

 

3. Know the possible hazards in your yard and neighborhood. Does your neighbor have an unfenced pool? Is there construction down the street? Are there storm drains? Check to see if there are any poisonous plants in your area. In your yard, keep hoses and all tools and equipment cleaned up when not in use, and keep fire pit and grill areas secure. Also make sure your children know to stay out of the street, and how to cross safely.

 

4. Keep all dangerous items locked away. Keep all firearms unloaded, and lock up ammunition and firearms separately. Keep all knives—kitchen or otherwise—in a locked drawer. Keep all potential weapons locked and out of reach. Children love to put things in their mouths, so all small items are a choking hazard and should be kept far out of reach.

 

5. Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. They may be annoying when they start chirping with a low battery, or when you burn dinner and set them off, but the extra time they give you when there is an emergency will save lives.

 

6. Place plastic covers into unused electrical outlets and secure all wires and extension cords—inside the house as well as outside—to keep children from sticking things in outlets or chewing on wires and getting a shock.

 

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7. Keep furniture away from windows, and use window stops to keep them from opening far enough to let a child through. Keep doors locked, block stairways, have corner protectors on sharp wall or furniture edges, and keep blind cords out of reach.

 

8. Keep beds clear and as bare as possible. Too many blankets and stuffed animals can cause suffocation in babies and small children if something accidentally covers their face. Use only one small blanket, and never let it get higher than the baby’s chest. If baby is too cold, put them in warmer pajamas rather than using more blankets. Also, remember to always lay babies on their backs when sleeping to keep their faces clear as well.

 

9. Watch children closely when the stove or oven—or any other appliance, for that matter—is on, and teach them as soon as they are old enough to stay away from hot pans and stoves. Turn down the water heater to 120 degrees, which is still warm enough for bathing, but not hot enough to scald little fingers.

 

10. Be prepared for anything that might happen. Stay certified in child CPR, make plans for what to do in case of a fire or other emergency and make sure the kids (if old enough) know their part. It is also a good idea to have emergency numbers stored in an easy-to-see place, and for the children to know about them. Have friends and family’s numbers listed as emergency contacts, as well as poison control, your doctor, the police, and any other number you may need. Keep a first aid kit in an easily accessible spot, and make sure you know how to use the equipment in the kit.

While following these tips may not prevent every single accident from happening, they will certainly lessen the seriousness of the injuries caused by the accidents In addition, they will give you a little more peace of mind knowing that your home and yard are as safe as possible for your growing children.
——

Author Byline

Barbara Johnson is a home improvement enthusiast. From plumbers in Vancouver to roofers in Santa Barbara, Barbara has helped many home improvement experts perfect their niche.

Children’s Health: Learning more about the Effects of Concussions

September 5, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Chris Holgreaves, guest contributor

We have all probably seen our fair share of cartoons. You know the ones in which the main character has some kind of head injury and stars magically float around their heads? Well sadly, real life doesn’t treat children in the same way as this. The side effects of a nasty “bonk” on the head aren’t always as easy to notice as in your favorite cartoon.

Of course, the above might is likely to be fairly amusing in a cartoon; however when it happens for real your young one will probably take a different view. Being knocked out or even feeling dazed for a moment or two can be symptoms of a concussion.

If you are worried about the effects of concussions then this blog post is definitely for you. Here we will be taking a closer look at just what to expect.

teddy is sick

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Just what is a Concussion?

It would probably make sense to try to understand a little more about what makes a bang on the head a concussion.

The simplest way to think about things is that a concussion occurs when there is a temporary change to the way that the brain operates. Sudden movements or indeed jarring are the most likely reasons for this to occur in children.

In normal conditions the soft tissue of the brain is protected by the blood and spinal fluid that surrounds it. However, when the head receives a blow it can sometimes have the effect of the brain knocking against the bony surface of the skull.

Many concussions only last a relatively short time. But, it should be noted that some can stick around for days, weeks or even longer. Even the shortest of concussions can still be serious.

Warning Signs

Concussion can manifest itself in many different ways. Some of these will include:

  • Vomiting
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Attention difficulties
  • Confusion
  • Headache

The list above isn’t extensive and there are likely to be other possible symptoms. The important thing is to keep a really close eye on your child in the immediate aftermath of a bang to the head. Rest is another key part of the recovery from a concussion.

Rest is Vital

All head injuries will take an element of time to heal; therefore a period of rest is vital. Of course, this isn’t always easy to achieve.

The hardest part is that aside from the noticeable effects that your child might be experiencing there could be other things going on that aren’t seen. Trying to persuade a fanatical sports fan not to take to the football field for a week or so might not be the easiest of tasks. However, nonetheless it is vitally important that rest is administered.

As well as a rest from sporting or physical activities you should also help your child to avoid completing cognitive activities. This means a break from schooling or other academic activities.

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Medical Treatment

Doctors are highly skilled when it comes to dealing with and treating head injuries. With this in mind it is essential that you get your child checked out as soon as possible. Very often a few short questions skilfully posed to the patient will allow the doctor a greater understanding of the situation.

In some cases the doctor will ask what seem like routine questions which serve to test the child’s memory functions. Additionally some might even prescribe an element of physical exertion to see how the brain reacts after a work-out.

More precise information can be found by using specialist equipment. One of the best known types is of course a CAT scanner. This machine has the power to take a 3 dimensional x-ray of the brain and can create a wealth of usable information.

Patient Follow-Up

Even after the all clear is given it is usual for a follow up to be scheduled. Only after this time will the doctor be satisfied that there is no lasting damage caused.

One big worry from a concussion is that the child goes out and repeats the injury. This is especially serious if it is happens during the initial healing process. For this reason the doctor will be keen to reinforce the value of making sure the patient gets plenty of rest.

——

Prior to becoming a professional writer, your author (Chris Holgreaves) worked in a children’s care unit for his local hospital. He recommends the involvement of a specialist case manager wherever possible, especially when dealing with children’s head injuries.

Safety for Children in Motels

August 29, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Mark, guest contributor

When going on a road trip or traveling on a budget with your family, you are bound to spend some time in motels. They are much cheaper than hotels, easier to find and there are plenty of them near the roads, which is why they are ideal for spending the night when you want to move on with your agenda the next day.

However, it is all too easy to forget yourself and lower your safety standards when you are surrounded with your loved ones, which can be dangerous if you are traveling with small kids. Motels are simply not designed with kids in mind, so if you want to insure a relaxed, stress-free stay, here are some things you should take into consideration.

 

Reserve a Room Upfrontchild-safety

Don’t try to leave the choice of the motel to chance so as to make your vacation more exciting or spontaneous, and don’t delude yourself that one motel is the same as the other. This is simply not the case.

If you decide that you and your family should lay your heads near the place where the dusk finds you, know that you may be in for more of an adventure that you bargained for, to put it mildly.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, plan your pit-stops and reserve rooms in motels from the comfort of your home before going on a trip. In addition to probably saving you some money, this will enable you to choose the safest and most comfortable option for your kids.

Looking for an adequate motel with vacancies while darkness falls and you are tired from the driving can be a very unpleasant affair. Therefore, it is best to plan and reserve the rooms beforehand.

 

Stick to Interior Rooms

Although staying in a room with a separate access can seem more romantic and better for children, it is simply less safe. There is a reason motel rooms like these are regarded unsafe and are often targeted by minor criminals – they are easy prey for them. Therefore, distance yourself from any uninvited guests by choosing an interior room. This way, anyone with less than honorable intentions will have to go through the lobby and pass the receptionist to reach your room, and it will be much easier for you to monitor your children this way.

 

Check Everything

Check the door locks, the windows and the phone line. Check the placement of the appliances and be sure to rearrange them in accordance with your kids’ age and habits.

Be sure to examine the room and never let the fact that you are staying in a place not adapted to children slip your mind.

If you are staying on the second floor, check the lock and the state of the rails in case you have a terrace. All of this may seem like excessive caution, but it only takes a few minutes, and then you can rest assured that everything is taken care of. Accidents do happen and in this case it is truly much better to be safe than sorry.

This motel safety checklist from Northern Illinois University can come in handy.

 

Do Not Let the Children Roam Alone

Be sure to drive around the motel when you arrive. See if it has a swimming pool, how far you will have to go to breakfast and what kind of neighbors you are surrounded with.

Most kids will jump to the chance to stray away from parents and to set off on a small exploring mission, as every parent knows well. It is true for teenagers, and especially true for younger kids who seldom get to be on their own. There is a time and place for everything and most motels are simply not places you can let your little ones roam unmonitored.

There doesn’t have to be a child-infatuated serial killer looming in every other room. It is quite enough for the kids to go out to play in the parking lot when a less-than-sober driver is looking for a space to park his car.

Swimming pools are also a cause for concern, judging by the number of deaths by drowning. It is a terrifying fact that kids can drown in as little as one inch of water. A good way to avoid this concern is to choose a motel with a protective fence around the pool.

Keep in mind that these seem like minor issues because mistakes like these will happen only once; but that once is one time too many.

——

Mark is a father of two great kids whom he wants to grow up in equally great people, so he teaches them important life lessons while he still has influence on their development.

Should You Track Your Kids Via GPS?

August 28, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Jamie Tryon, guest contributor

Keeping your kids safe is a full time job. Many parents are stretched thin due to working full time while taking care of the household and shuttling kids from activity to activity. With a busy home life, parents sometimes let their kids have freedoms at an early age, like walking to school or finding a ride from a friend’s parent to go somewhere. With these additional freedoms, it makes it even more important that the parent stay on top of what their kids are doing and where they are going. This is why tracking their kids via GPS may be the answer.

See where they go

GPS tracking helps parents to know in real time where exactly their children are at every moment of the day. This gives child-abductionthe parents a sense of relief knowing the child is safe – whether it be in school, in the playground or at a friend’s house. In this day and age when children are being taken advantage of by predators and kidnappings happen frequently, the whereabouts of your child is important. In case of an emergency such as an accident or kidnapping parents can react immediately, without losing precious time.

Are they where they said they’d be?

When it comes to GPS tracking of teenagers, parents are more concerned if the teen is where they say they are.  Most teens will tell their parents where they are going, however, some of the rebellious ones may skip school or lie to their parents about their whereabouts. Teenagers like to think they are grown up and long for the freedoms of adulthood. Parents must balance freedom with responsibility. With cell phone tracking software they know where their children are without being too restrictive.

There are several types of tracking devices available, the most popular and easy to implement is a cell phone tracking software. Most older kids and teens will have a cell phone anyways, so all you will need to do is install the cell phone tracking software. They are more likely to have the phone on them at all times so they can reach and be reached by their friends.

Combine GPS with other tools

Cell phone tracking software not only shows the location that your kids are at, but it also allows you to  track other things like how much time they are spending online, who they are text messaging, what pictures they are taking and much more. As a parent, this information can be handy when you are addressing behavioural issues or red flags that are popping up in their actions. Teens aren’t always forthcoming with their parents, so finding information out without them knowing may be the only option you may have.

Raising kids this day and age can be challenging, but just think about all of the tools that we have now that our parent’s didn’t have. We have GPS, cell phone tracking software and other technologies that didn’t exist when we were kids. Despite what your kids may think, there is nothing wrong with using these technologies to keep your children safe. It’s your job as a parent to do so.

——

Jamie Tryon is a mobile device sales person and a mom of two. When not working or chasing after her kids, she contributes to the blog at Sniper Spy, a cell phone tracking software.

How Baby Monitors Work – Step By Step Instructions

August 19, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

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Robert F., guest contributor

Parents always need to have a constant eye on a new born baby, but it is also not possible for most parents to spend a whole day with their child. As a new born baby sleeps a lot, a parent can always find some time to herself, but she wants to be there with her baby as soon as he wakes up. Baby monitors are a nice solution for this problem, as a mother can always hear the noises of a baby as soon as he wakes up through a baby monitor.

The basics

A simple audio monitor uses a one way radio frequency to send sound from one end to the receiver. There are different models available on the market that can send sounds to different distances. The most common types of audio monitors available can send sound to a distance of 140-160 feet. With a simple audio baby monitor, you need to set a transmitter within a range of 10 meters of the baby’s crib. A receiver at the other end of the transmitter is mostly portable, but some models also come with a fixed receiver. Parents can always carry a portable receiver around with them when they are moving in or around a house.

Frequency

As the frequency used in common audio baby monitors often matches the frequency used by police, emergency services, and by cordless telephones, there is always the possibility of foreign interference. There are better models available that can offer you a unique frequency, but they are quite expensive. If someone in your neighborhood is also using a baby monitor, you may have to find a model with a unique frequency so the two don’t interfere with one another.

The use of a scrambler is also a good way to minimize the foreign interference. It is also recommended to not use audio monitors that run on batteries, as parents may just think that their baby is sleeping when the batteries of a monitor die, so it is better to avoid.

Making the Right Choice

There are different models with different features available on the market. There is a one-way model as well as a two-way model of audio monitor. With a two-way model, you can also talk to the baby on the other end. Similarly, there is a choice for parents to choose from audio or video monitor. Video monitors are more expensive, but are often more convenient when it comes to vigilant monitoring of a baby.

You also need to calculate the distance you want to cover with your monitor, and the size of your home, before buying any particular model. All models come with different ranges. A simple and cheap baby monitor may come with a fixed receiver; while a more sophisticated model will come with a portable receiver. You need to decide if you want to buy a model with a fixed or a portable receiver based on your convenience. You may also want to consider one that comes with better protection against foreign interference, especially if people in your neighborhood are also using baby monitors. It is highly recommended to buy a model that comes with a unique frequency. A video monitor is also a good choice in such a case.

——

This article was written by Robert F. for babysfairy.com – a revolutionary product for new babies.

Introducing the Child Safety Podcast Series

July 31, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Hello,

My name is Ed and I manage the content here on the Better Kids Institute blog.Child Safety Podcast

I am pleased to announce that we are just wrapping up a great three-part podcast series called On The Go Child Safety with our child safety experts Kathy Mangold and Dave Young. This series of podcasts is designed to educate parents – and children – on what should happen when out in public to ensure their safety.

Click here for a preview of the Better Kids Institute podcast channel and access to the first episode in the series.

The three podcasts are divided by age grouping and include On the Go Child Safety for:

  • children ages 4-11 years old
  • children ages 12-17 years old
  • establishing safety consequences for preteens and teens

We have broken the series into distinctive age categories so that parents can easily determine the best practices for their children based on age group.

On behalf of all of us here at Better Kids Institute, I hope you find this series helpful.

Please be sure to contact us and let us know what you think of the series. Would you like to see more podcasts like this in the future? We’d love to hear from you!

Being Aware of Your Surroundings ALWAYS Pays Off!

July 5, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Hello. This is Dave Young with an important story I’d like to share with you.

About 8pm on a Wednesday night, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot waiting for my adult son to return from inside the store when I noticed two girls about 11-13 years old standing by the front door.

The ployRemember parents, you’re taking the most precious treasures you have to the store with you and there are others shopping for those treasures.

As other children around their age walked out of the store, the two girls would hand them a piece of candy and talk to them for a few seconds. Then, when their parent or adult showed up a man standing by his car parked next to the entrance of the store would call the two girls’ names (changing their names each time) and the girls would stop talking to the child and run back to the man.

The Potential Victim

After watching for a few more minutes, I noticed a small boy about 8 years of age walk out of the store alone. As the two young girls approached him they handed him a piece of candy. The boy took the candy and started to laugh and play with the girls; no adult walked outside with the boy and the man called out to the girls who grabbed the boy by the hand and continued to play and laugh and started to walk over to the car with the boy in hand.

The one thing that raced through my mind was, “Where in the *&^%$! are the kids parents?” I got out of my car and yelled to the man, “Hey, are you that boy’s dad?”

Just then the boys mom walked outside pushing two carts, one in front and the other in back. The girls let go of the boy’s hand who ran smiling to his mom, while the girls got in the car with the man and drove away. Everything happened within 5 seconds or less. I was too far for a tag but the car was a new Chevy Impala.

The Lesson

Remember parents, you’re taking the most precious treasures you have to the store with you and there are others shopping for those treasures. DO NOT LET them take your precious treasure away from you!

When you go shopping with your children, do you make sure they stay close by? Do they know what to do if a stranger approaches them?

Being Aware of Your Surroundings ALWAYS Pays Off!

July 5, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Hello. This is Dave Young with an important story I’d like to share with you.

About 8pm on a Wednesday night, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot waiting for my adult son to return from inside the store when I noticed two girls about 11-13 years old standing by the front door.

The ployRemember parents, you’re taking the most precious treasures you have to the store with you and there are others shopping for those treasures.

As other children around their age walked out of the store, the two girls would hand them a piece of candy and talk to them for a few seconds. Then, when their parent or adult showed up a man standing by his car parked next to the entrance of the store would call the two girls’ names (changing their names each time) and the girls would stop talking to the child and run back to the man.

The Potential Victim

After watching for a few more minutes, I noticed a small boy about 8 years of age walk out of the store alone. As the two young girls approached him they handed him a piece of candy. The boy took the candy and started to laugh and play with the girls; no adult walked outside with the boy and the man called out to the girls who grabbed the boy by the hand and continued to play and laugh and started to walk over to the car with the boy in hand.

The one thing that raced through my mind was, “Where in the *&^%$! are the kids parents?” I got out of my car and yelled to the man, “Hey, are you that boy’s dad?”

Just then the boys mom walked outside pushing two carts, one in front and the other in back. The girls let go of the boy’s hand who ran smiling to his mom, while the girls got in the car with the man and drove away. Everything happened within 5 seconds or less. I was too far for a tag but the car was a new Chevy Impala.

The Lesson

Remember parents, you’re taking the most precious treasures you have to the store with you and there are others shopping for those treasures. DO NOT LET them take your precious treasure away from you!

When you go shopping with your children, do you make sure they stay close by? Do they know what to do if a stranger approaches them?