Weekly Digest #33: Teaching Kids about Safety
Many of us enjoy dressing up for Halloween, trick-or-treating with your kids, Halloween-themed crafts, or just curling up on the couch to watch scary movies (or not so scary movies, like Hocus Pocus). Unfortunately, with Halloween comes dangers for our children, and it can be hard to distinguish between those dressing up to pretend to be monsters, and the actual monsters around us. But, how do we talk to our kids about "stranger danger", and make sure they understand how to stay safe, without scaring them?
For this week's digest, we put together a compilation of resources discussing these issues. And, because Halloween is often celebrated over the weekend as well as Halloween night, we decided to put out our weekly digest a few days early! The first resource discusses Behavior Skills Training (or BST for short), which is a technique for learning new skills that has shown to be effective at teaching kids how to avoid / handle dangerous situations. The remaining four resources are safety tips from groups like the National Crime Prevention Council, Riley Children's Health, a hospital affiliated with Indiana University Medicine; Kid Power, a nonprofit that works to create cultures of caring, respect, and safety for everyone; and finally TeenSafe with a list of things to consider if you have teenagers celebrating Halloween.
Behavior Skills Training, or BST, is a way to teach people new skills and has been shown to be somewhat successful at teaching kids about various safety topics, for example, gun safety (1) and abduction prevention skills (2). Based on this research, BST alone doesn't seem to work with all children, but when we're talking about the safety of our children it's worth a try!
Tips from the crime prevention experts!
This post summarizes some great tips for kids and warnings about the slogan "stranger danger". Citing the Crimes Against Children Research Center, this resource points out that 80% of offenses against children are committed by a family member or acquaintance. Yet police officers and firefighters, who could help children in these dangerous situations, are technically strangers. So, what are we to do?
4) Teaching Kids to Be Safe Without Making Them Scared by Kidpower (@Kidpower_Intl)
After reading about the dangers in the world and how to talk to kids about them, even we're scared! We imagine parents are too, and so it's not surprising that kids might become scared during these conversations. This resource provides information about how to frame the conversation.
Halloween can be dangerous for teenagers too, but in a few different ways. This article provides tips for keeping teenagers safe on Halloween by giving advice about how to help your teenager have fun without getting into trouble.
(1) Himle, M, B., Miltenberger, R. G., Flessner, C., & Gatheridge, B. (2004). Teaching safety skills to children to prevent gun play. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37, 1-9.
(2) Johnson, B.M., Miltenberger, R.G., Egemo-Helm, K., Jostad, C. J., Flessner, C., & Gatheridge, B. (2005). Evaluation of behavioural skills training for teaching abduction-prevention skills to young children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38, 67-78.
Every Sunday, we pick a theme and provide a curated list of links. If you have a theme suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our 5 most recent digests can be found here: