By Laura Fogerty
Happy October! What a wonderful time of year for our littles – fall festivals, pumpkin patches, trick-or-treating, and plenty of cooler weather activities to bring our children out and about!
Unfortunately, when situations exist to draw children, they also draw predators. Does that mean we avoid festivals, parties and trick-or-treat? No, of course not! It means that we need to recognize the importance of keeping our children safe no matter the circumstance.
* First and most importantly, make sure to accompany your children for trick-or-treat.
* Be aware that though we have over 614,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, this list is far from all inclusive.
*Minimize opportunity for predators. Don’t allow children to be in isolated, or one on one situations with adults or older, more powerful children.
*Be an example. Set a precedent for child safety by making sure all interactions with children in your care are observable and interrupt-able.
*Talk to your children about boundaries and knowing that they can say “NO” to an adult when they feel uncomfortable.
*Encourage your children to speak out and tell you if someone makes them feel uncomfortable in any way.
Autumn is a wonderful time of year, and by knowing the facts, and being vigilant, we can keep the experiences and memories of this joyful season safe, happy, and healthy!
Editor, Ask Lala
Laura Fogarty writes “Ask Lala” for the Stop Abuse Campaign. She is a mother, an advocate and the author of two children’s abuse prevention books: I’M THE BOSS OF ME! and WE ARE JUST ALIKE!
Laura has an ACE score of 6.