Empower your family with a fun night of safety!
First, gather the items listed below to use during your Family Safety Night:
- The whole family – Set the tone when you talk to your kids about safety, it doesn’t have to be scary, it should be fun.
- Food – Tonight is a good night to order in so that everyone’s focus is on the information and not the preparation!
- Optional – Make a personal ID kit. You will need: Q-tips, paper bags and labels, camera (digital or regular), tape measure, scale, computer and paper/pens.
Once you have all these things, you are ready to have a fun night of learning about safety, gathering invaluable information and connecting as a family.
Topics to Discuss on your Family Safety Night:
Ask some basic questions about safety in your home to make sure everyone has the same information. You can even make a game out of it. Ask questions like: Where is the first aid kit and fire extinguisher? Where would we meet for severe weather?
Here, you can discuss everything from bike helmets to seat belts. This is a good time to have conversations about personal body safety. Talk to your children about their gut instinct or their “uh-oh feeling.” Children should be told to respond to their own gut instinct and tell a parent or trusted adult if a person or situation makes them feel uncomfortable or afraid. Play some “What If” games to encourage problem solving in a non-threatening way. Try, “What if we were separated in a store?” “What if someone asked you to keep a secret from your parent?
Talk to your children about protecting their online footprint. Make a list of the online rules and cell phone expectations that your family agrees to follow. Visit netsmartz.org to get additional information and sample Internet family safety plans.
Make a list of five trusted adults who your children could call in case of an emergency or if they needed to talk about a problem. Let your children call the different adults to ask if they would be willing to be on a contact list. Post the phone numbers of the five adults next to the phone. If the children are older, add these important numbers to their cell phones.
Take a head and shoulders picture of each family member and record their age, height and weight. Take DNA of each family member: firmly rub the inside cheek with Q-tip for 10 seconds, place on paper to air dry, then place in a zip-lock bag. Put this bag inside another bag. Label the outside bag with name and date and store in your freezer. Remind your children that just like a snowflake, each person is unique. End your night talking about the traits in each family member that makes them unique and special.