March On Crime Week Three - Child and Cyber Safety
March 17, 2006 -- Week three
(March 18-24) of HPD March On Crime
focuses on Child Safety and Cyber Safety. Children are faced with
dangers from almost everywhere. The Houston Police Department
Public Affairs, Community Services Unit offers some basic strategies
that will keep them out of harms way.
While at Home:
Keep doors and windows locked at all times. If your kids are left
home alone remind them to never acknowledge it. If strangers come
to the front or back door and refuse to leave they should call
9-1-1. Post important phones numbers near all phones in case of
emergencies. If your children are latch key kids, have them check
in with parents or neighbors once they get home and never enter
a house when you find the door or window open.
While at School:
Develop a safe route to and from school and stick to it. Never
take short cuts through fields, construction sites, wooded areas,
or dark isolated streets or alleys. Familiarize your child with
the neighborhood you live in. Always walk to and from school with
a parent or friends. There is safety in numbers. Be alert and
aware of people around you. Teach your child to report all suspicious
behavior. Never hitchhike.
Child predators look for children demonstrating
specific traits and habits. Parents must take the offensive in
understanding what predators look for in choosing a child. Many
of these predators use the internet as a means to sexually exploit
children. Some of these predators seduce children by using attention,
kindness and even gifts.
CHILD CYBER SAFETY
Signs of Online Risk:
Be aware of the amount of time your child spends on the internet,
especially at night. Many children fall victim to computer sex-offenders
who spend large amounts of time online. Frequently check your
child's e-mail files for pornography. Sex offenders often use
porn to show the child that sex between children and adults is
normal. Many sex offenders may even call their victim and try
to engage in phone sex with their victim. Be cautious if your
child receives gifts or mail from people that you don't know.
And be concerned if your child turns the computer monitor off
or changes the screen on the monitor when you enter the room.
Some children develop codes to trick parents. Be aware of who
your child spends time with and chats with online.
Guideline for Parents:
Make a family rule never to give out identifying information such
as home address, school name or telephone number on any online
chat room or bulletin board. Get to know the internet and website
services your child uses. Remember that people online may not
be who they say they are.
AW/ MES 3-17-06
For additional information, please
contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.