Sheriff Offers Summer Safety Tips to Parents
With area schools dismissing for summer break, kids will soon be traveling to area swimming pools and parks, going to visit friends, spending time with new sitters and some will have reached the age and maturity level to stay home alone.
With that in mind, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office wants to provide some basic safety reminders for parents and encourage them to have a conversation with their kids.
"Even if parents have had previous talks about ways to stay safe, this is a good time of year to do so again, as a refresher," according to Sheriff David Groves.
To help get the conversation started, the Sheriff's Office offers the following tips:
- Never give your personal information, such as your name, address, whether your parents are home, etc... to people you meet online. This includes those who add you on social media platforms as well as those you "meet" while playing video games online. It's important for kids to know adults who wish to prey on them, often create fictitious accounts to appear that they are kids, also.
- Think about whether or not it's important or necessary for kids to have access to their phones late at night or if there should be a certain time of evening when internet access is shut off.
- If a child is home alone, he or she should never feel obligated to open the door just because someone is knocking. If they don't know who it is, they shouldn't answer it.
- Parents should stay informed of where their children are going and who they are with. If going to a friends house, parents should make sure they have a good contact number for the other child's parents.
- Children should know what to do if there is a fire or tornado warning, especially if they are alone or watching younger siblings. Also have a plan in place in case of a power outage or phone disruption.
- Work with young children to make sure they know their parents' full names, their address and phone numbers. Even if an older child has his or her own phone, they should memorize their parents phone numbers so they can reach them in the event they lose or can't access their phone.
- Children should have an alternative emergency contact, such as a nearby neighbor, in case something comes up and they can't reach their parents.
"I also encourage parents to take advantage of a free service offered by the Sheriff's Office, through our Offender Watch Program," continued Sheriff Groves.
"Anyone can go to our website, www.cherokeecountykssheriff.com to view any publicly registered sex, drug or violent offender who lives in their community. In addition, you can sign up to receive alerts, which our office will send any time a new offender moves within a 2-mile radius of any address you request to be monitored. Parents cannot only register their home address, but the addresses for the city park, friends' houses, sitters and others they wish to be alerted to if an offender moves close by," concluded Sheriff Groves.