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6 Steps for Realtor Safety
By Jennifer Cassetta
If you’re an area Realtor, you have no doubt heard the story of Betsy Carter, who was abducted and murdered while showing an open house. Her story, sparked a lot of safety events around the country to help women and men avoid danger when possible. September is Realtor Safety Month. Realtors can practice the following safety tips to decrease their chances of being a target of theft, stalking and assault.
Don’t get too personal.
Try not to share personal info with your new clients. There’s no need for them to know where you live, where your kids go to school, if you’re single, or where you hang out on the weekends.
Be social media savvy.
If you have a business account for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media service, keep it about business. Feature the homes you are selling and keep your private business private. Give potential clients access to your office line only and keep your cell phone number off of social media.
Tone down the bling.
Dressing for success is great. Putting your best foot forward and showing potential clients that you are a successful agent can be helpful in making a deal. However, wearing overly expensive jewelry, driving flashy cars, and carrying designer handbags can signal a potential thief that you may be a good target for theft. If you choose to wear your best, try to do that at the office when surrounded with people and not during open houses when you are alone.
Know how to protect yourself.
Learning basic self-defense has helped many women and men in the moment of a life-threatening attack. Know your weapons that you have naturally on your body and how to use them. Knees, elbows, feet and hands can strike your opponent and help you get out of grabs and holds, long enough for you to possibly flee the situation. Carrying a Mace Brand Realtor Safety Kit while showing open houses can help you fend off an attacker in the moment. I highly recommend having one handy.
Fake it till you make it.
Always use strong body language when showing open houses. Even if you are feeling nervous or vulnerable in a situation, using great posture and making direct eye contact with clients will show you are still feeling confident and in control. Your brain may even start to believe it too.
Don’t let clients tell you where to go in a house. Lead the conversation and the showing but let clients walk ahead of you if you are entering a room with only one exit. Stay close to the exit while allowing the client to walk around the room and explore. If showing a closed-in backyard or area, the same principle applies. Never back yourself into a corner. Stay close to the exit and let the client explore.
Create a code.
If you ever find yourself in a situation that you want out of immediately, having a code with colleagues or loved ones can help. Have a secret code word or phrase that you can text or say on a phone call that would sound innocent to the attacker but would signal your colleagues and loved ones that you are in danger and that they should send help. Perhaps you can play along with this potential attacker, disguised as a client, and tell them you have to call the office to confirm the details of the home you are showing. Say your code and know that help will be on it’s way, hopefully in the form of police officers.
Another tactic to get out of a showing as fast as possible is to lie. Have a phrase ready that you are comfortable saying that gives you an immediate out regardless of what the client says. Perhaps it is something like, “my child’s school just texted and there is an emergency. I must leave now.” If the client refuses to leave, leave the house anyway and go get help.
We want to hear from you. Are you a real estate agent? Have you ever felt unsafe while on the job?
The summer may be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean that your road trips have to stop. Whether you’re traveling along the coast for an end-of-summer beach vacation or heading to the lake for a long weekend, road-tripping safety can be easily prepared for in advance and is just as important as packing your suitcase.
Keeping a car safety kit in your car allows you to be prepared for an emergency or unfortunate situation. Whether you have a new or old car, having the following items in your car safety kit can help you in emergencies such as crashes, break-downs, break-ins, and attempted assaults.
1. Mace Brand Utility Knife:
This genius multi-purpose tool is a must have for any car safety kit. It has a seatbelt cutting tool if you or a passenger was stuck with locked seatbelts after an accident. And, of course, it has a durable, stainless steel blade that can cut through difficult objects. Perhaps you will need to cut clothing off of an injured person or cut through sticks or branches that have gotten lodged somewhere, keeping this utility knife on you can be a life saver.
2. Non-perishable snacks:
Snack bars or protein bars are great food items that can be stashed away in your car safety kit or even in the glove department. If you and/or your kids are ever stranded and hungry, a nutritious bar can keep the hanger away.
2. Water for drinking:
Having at least a gallon of clean water in the car at all times is important. I recommend keeping it in a non-toxic, non-plastic container. Plastic water bottles will leach toxic chemicals into the water when exposed to hot temperatures. If ever stranded far from a town or convenient store, having water to keep you hydrated until help arrives is helpful to keep you coherent.
4. First aid kit:
A first aid kit is a necessity for every car, but especially when you have kids. If ever hurt or injured, having at least the basics like anti-bacterial wash and bandages can keep a victim from dangerous bleeding wounds while waiting on an ambulance or heading to the hospital or urgent care.
5. Jumper cables:
This should be an obvious one for everyone who drives and who does not have a AAA membership.
6. Duct tape:
Because, you just never know.
7. Flashlight & extra batteries:
Needing to see in the dark is important and so is having extra batteries in case!
8. Mace Brand pepper spray:
I always carry a pepper spray product with me in my car. I’ve heard too many stories of women being pulled over by someone impersonating a police officer or being car-jacked. Keeping it with you inside the car and not in the trunk is key.
9. Warm blanket:
You never know when you may need to car camp unexpectedly. Keeping toasty with a warm blanket will make a night in the car that much better.
For cold weather road-tripping there are a few more items to keep handy:
- A windshield ice scraper to combat frost and snow
- Cat litter which works like gravel to help you get out of a slippery icy road situation
We want to hear from you! Have you ever been in a car emergency? What were the items that you are thankful that you had and/or what do you wish you did have that you didn’t?
I am sure that this can be a bittersweet time for you. Sending your beloved children off to college can be exciting as you see something they have worked so hard towards come to fruition. It could also feel liberating that you may have some more free time on your hands and at the same time you may feel sad because you will miss them so much.
While you shop for the extra-long bed sheets and stock up on snacks try to set aside time to talk to your kid about his or her safety while at school. As a parent, it’s your job to teach them about personal safety now that they are leaving the nest, because most likely their new school will not.
Here are a few ideas to get you started on how to prepare your kids to be safe and confident while still enjoying themselves at school:
1. Talk to kids about sexual assault
Whether you have a son or daughter, having a conversation about the difference between consensual sex and anything else is important. According to the Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN), college aged women are at a higher risk of sexual assault than women of any other age group. In fact, 23.1 percent of female and 2.2 percent of male undergraduate students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation. The most disturbing fact is that many assaults go unreported, which means the statistics are probably higher than reported.
2. Talk about safe partying
Since many incidents involve alcohol and incapacitation, speak to kids about setting safe limits on alcohol use. Teach them how blacking out can occur without any physical warnings and how to keep their drinks safe from being spiked.
In my book, Hear Me Roar: how to defend your mind, body and heart against people who suck, I wrote the 10 Cocktail Commandments to help people of any age manage their liquor including:
- Never drink on an empty stomach
- Watch when your drink is being prepared
- Keep your eyes on your drink at all times. (Yes, that means taking it to the bathroom with you)
- Have a glass of water in between every alcoholic drink to avoid dehydration and quicker intoxication.
Another great tip for safe partying is to always head out in a group and make sure that same group heads home together. If one member of the group can stay sober and be the eyes and ears for the group, even better. I’ve had sorority women tell me that person is called the “party mom”.
3. Send them off with a safety kit
Yes, snacks and a cozy comforter are nice but sending your kids off to school with a curated personal safety kit could actually help keep them safe from harm and able to protect themselves.
A first aid kit is an essential for any safety kit. A good safety kit should have all of the essential bandages, alcohol swabs, anti-bacterial ointments, cold medicine or vitamins, some anti-inflammatories and a scissor.
A Mace Brand personal alarm is something to definitely include for your student to keep on his/her keychain when out and about to set off if ever in a vulnerable situation.
Date rape drug detector strips are available online and great to add to your safety kit for your son or daughter to detect if their drink has been spiked.
Mace Brand pepper spray would be my last essential item for your safety kit to arm your student when alone, in a new town or city, driving or walking to and from work, classes or parties. You can never be too prepared.
Chances are your new student will be just fine and will stay safe throughout their college years as they learn how to fend for themselves and develop better street smarts. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and empower your kids to take personal safety into their own hands!
Cheers and good luck to you all,
Over one third of Americans will travel (50 miles or more) for at least one vacation this year, according to a recent AAA survey. Many more are planning two or three vacations to bond with family members. If you are among them, whether you plan on traveling stateside or abroad there are some safety precautions you can plan ahead for to reduce your chance of being a victim of theft, fraud or even of falling ill. Below are three areas of safety to plan ahead for.
1. Safety from fraud
Before you head out on your adventure, it’s a smart move to make printed copies of your passport, credit cards and travel itinerary to keep with you in case any of it goes missing. Keeping a copy of that information in a web based email account is another smart back up. Leave another copy with a friend or family member back home as well.
Be weary of overly nice, curious or helpful strangers, especially if it is obvious you are a tourist. There are tons of scammers, con artists and gypsies that make a living off of the unaware tourist. If you have questions about the area you are in or need suggestions, do that before you head out of the hotel by asking the concierge and being prepared with maps of the area.
2. Safety from theft
Pickpocketing is still a major crime especially in the following cities: Barcelona, Rome, Prague, Madrid and Paris. It also happens here in the U.S. and every major city around the world. You can protect your assets by planning ahead.
Fanny packs are so 1980, but you can buy more sleeker versions that you can hide under your clothes for even better protection. A Mace Brand Waistbelt is perfect to carry your identification, some money, a phone and hotel keys while you strut about your host city with your arms free to protect yourself and your belongings. If you need to carry more than that, be sure to carry a cross-body bag and have the opening zipper compartment in front of your stomach.
Stealing phones is also very common in certain areas. Keep on high alert while taking photos, especially selfies with your smart phone. Never keep it in your back pocket or in a backpack pocket that is easy to get to.
If you choose to travel with your Mace Brand pepper spray, remember that you must check it in your luggage. It will not be allowed in your carry on. A Mace Brand personal alarm is easy to travel with and can deter someone from robbing you if you set it off in a public place.
Lastly, leave your fancy jewelry at home and never flaunt it on social media. We all learned a valuable lesson from Mrs. Kardashian-West when she was robbed in a Paris flat by armed gunmen after showing off her big jewels on her IG account.
3. Food safety
I recently got very ill on a trip to Mexico. Luckily it happened the day I was supposed to be heading home and not in the beginning or middle of my trip. I was a little too lax about making sure I was careful not to drink water from the tap. I’m not sure if that’s exactly what did it, it could have been the tuna I ate the night before that was cooked slightly medium rare. Either way, I learned my lesson.
If you are in a country where water isn’t safe for Americans to drink you should stick to drinking bottled water whenever possible. My downfall was brushing my teeth with tap water because we were in a hip hotel and I got lazy. Also, be sure to order all of your meats and seafood closer to well done than medium or rare. Sushi lovers beware. I’m sure most of it is safe if you are eating from a reputable restaurant but because the fish is raw it does come with a higher risk.
If you do get very sick make sure you can hydrate your body as soon as you can keep liquid down. If you can find coconut water, Gatorade or even Pedialyte (if you’re desperate) drink that until you are hydrated and try to avoid flying while you are ill. Traveling with a small first aid kit that contains an anti-diarrheal and Tylenol is also a great idea!
Now off you go! Enjoy your travels.
There’s nothing like a great barbeque on July 4th followed by a fireworks show. It’s a great day to honor our country surrounded with friends and family.
Like any celebration, it’s easy to get caught up in all the fun. The last thing you would expect is for something to go wrong while you’re celebrating. At the risk of sounding paranoid, this is exactly when we should do our best to keep safety a top priority.
According to the National Safety Council, July 4th is our country’s most dangerous holiday with the most deaths occurring on and around this date.
Here are a few tips to keep you and your loved ones safe while still enjoying the 4th of July:
1. Stay hydrated.
Most of the country will experience hot temperatures over the holiday weekend and the effects of dehydration can be very serious. Severe dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, sunburn or even heatstroke if in the sun for too long.
Eat high water content foods like watermelon and raw veggies to help you stay hydrated. Meat, potatoes and bread have very little water content to them. If those foods are the bulk of your July 4th diet then make sure you’re drinking plenty of water as well.
Alcohol and caffeinated drinks, like soda, are also diuretics and strip water from the body. If you choose to indulge, be sure to drink at least one glass of water for every alcoholic or soft drink. You’ll be glad you did when you wake up on the 5th of July sans hangover.
2. Be a safe spectator.
Setting off fireworks can be extremely dangerous. Leave the display up to the experts. Try to attend your local fireworks display at an organized event in your community rather than making your own backyard show. If you do find yourself at a backyard party where fireworks are being set off, keep yourself and your kids out of range if the worst possible scenario were to happen.
3. Be on crowd alert.
If you are heading to a parade or fireworks display with a group of people, make sure to check out the area for any suspicious activity or people. You can be calm and have fun while still keeping alert.
Make sure you know where the exits are if you are in an enclosed space and always have a way out mapped out in your head if there were any kind of disruption. Remember, you don’t always have to follow the crowd, especially in mass hysteria.
3. Light up your kids.
Keeping your kids close to you when in a crowd, at a parade or any public gathering is ideal, but not always realistic. Kids will be kids and will run off to greet friends, pet animals or play with bright shiny objects. It can be scary when they are out of your sight for too long. That’s why these Shoe Safety Lights by Mace Brand are ideal when you’re heading out after dark. These lights clip right onto the back of their heels and light them up so they will be visible to you from far away.
4. Use a rideshare app.
It goes without saying to not drink and drive. But, sadly, almost half of the deaths that occur on this holiday are alcohol related. Instead of driving, use a rideshare app like Uber, Lyft or a good old-fashioned taxi. The extra $10-$20 is way cheaper than a DUI, DWI, or even worse, getting in an accident with innocent people.
Have a fun and safe 4th of July!
Father’s Day is fast approaching and falls on Sunday, June 18th. Are you need of ideas of what to get Dad to let him know that you care and appreciate him? The following are my favorite must-have safety gadgets that every guy should have:
Mace Brand Flashlight and Stun Gun (http://www.mace.com/mace-brand-2-400-000-volt-black-stun-gun-with-bright-led-717)
A stun gun is a great idea for a Dad who doesn’t want a real gun in his home or on his person. This Mace Brand stun gun also has a flashlight, so it’s great to protect Dad against a nighttime intruder or for him to keep in his car.
2 Way Radio
What guy doesn’t wouldn’t like a set of walkie talkies? They may sound like a kid’s toy but if your Dad is an outdoorsman he could really use these. Using 2 way radios to communicate with his camping, hiking or snowboarding buddy can keep him safe if he got into any trouble, got injured or simply lost his way.
Anyone who uses a smartphone, tablet or laptop can use a portable charger for those times when there’s no place to plug in. If Dad travels a lot, this is a great gift for him to pack in his carry-on to make sure he is powered up even when travel delays get in the way. I particularly like portable chargers that have the option to use solar power for energy like this one from Goal Zero (https://www.rei.com/product/893309/goal-zero-flip-20-portable-charger).
Ring Video Doorbell
I love this for older parents who live alone and could use the extra protection. Ring allows you to virtually answer your door and actually speak to someone at your doorstep. Ring provides your with cameras that you can easily install around your house and at your main door. When someone rings the doorbell, you will get a notification on your smartphone and you can see who’s there and speak if you want, without actually being home! If you are at home, you’ll be able to see who’s there and choose if you want to get the door or not. You must have wireless internet to use this service. (https://ring.com)
Headlamps aren’t just for miners. Keeping a headlamp in dad’s bedside table is a great backup in case the electricity goes out and he has to get up to check out a noise or even just to go to the bathroom. He may even wear it to read in bed if Mom has an earlier bedtime. Here are some different headlamps from REI: https://www.rei.com/search.html?q=headlamp&origin=...
Mace Brand Alert 911
Again, if Dad is getting up there in the years, the Mace Brand Alert 911 is a great tool to keep him safe if anything suddenly happened to his health. He can wear it around his neck at home or when he’s out and about and when pressed, it will call 911 for him. If he’s fallen on the sidewalk or has sudden pain in his chest, 911 can be a button push away, versus having to find his phone that may not be on his person.
Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads out there!
This past year has not been a great year for women’s safety while running. 10 months ago three women were murdered while out running. The first, Karina Vetrano, was running in a park in Queens, NY, when she was raped and murdered. The second, Vanessa Marcotte, was running in Princeton, Massachusetts, near her mom’s house when she was also murdered and her body set afire. Alexandra Brueger was the third woman who was murdered while out running in Rose Township, Michigan. She was gunned down by her assailant.
Back in March, Kelly Herron, was attacked in a public bathroom in a park while she was four miles into her run. Her assailant took her to the ground and she fought back long enough until a man passing by came in and the two of them were able to lock the attacker in a bathroom with a carabiner until the police arrived.
In May, a woman named Renee (she didn’t want to have her last name released), was attacked while running the Ragnar Relay in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She was in the middle of her first leg when a man attacked her and she fell to the ground. Luckily, during her struggle a woman heard the distress and called out to Renee. That alone was enough for the attacker to be scared off.
Although these were all isolated incidents, it does sound scary when reading about them all at once. This article is not meant to scare anyone from running alone ever again. The purpose of this article is to empower us to feel strong, safe and prepared while out running.
Here are a few ways women can feel more strong and safe when running outside alone.
Share your location.
Before you head out the door, there are a few apps you can use to track your route and share your route with other people. Strava and Find My Friends are examples of such apps that allow you to share your run with a partner, friend, roommate or parent so someone will always know where you are, as long as your phone is still with you.
Check your six.
Make a habit of looking behind you (6 o’clock) from time to time while on your run. Make eye contact with anyone that you see, therefore they know they can no longer surprise you. You’ve seen them and made a mental note of their appearance. Look for any strange behavior. That’s how Renee noticed a man running behind her during her Ragnar race and his odd behavior of jumping on and off the sidewalk, especially when cars approached.
Turn down the volume.
I know it’s unrealistic to advise people to leave their music at home. But, if you do choose to listen to music on your run, leave one ear bud out and turn the volume low enough so you can hear what’s going on around you.
Switch up your route.
Try not to run the same course every time. Switch up your runs so you don’t become predictable to a would-be stalker.
Be prepared for the worst.
Visualizing what you would do in different safety scenarios can help keep you on high alert while out running alone. For example, visualize yourself in Kelly Herron’s shoes if you were to enter a public bathroom and there was a man standing in one of the stalls. Give yourself multiple options of ways you could keep safe.
In most of the stories above, it was reported that the women fought back against their attackers. Sometimes, fighting back is enough to have your attacker change their mind. Sometimes, screaming and making enough noise will help a bystander hear you and want to help you. Either way, it can’t hurt to learn at least the basics to help you physically defend yourself if ever needed.
Carry pepper spray.
If running alone is your thing, I highly recommend carrying pepper spray. This Mace Brand Hot Pink Jogger Pepper Spray (http://www.mace.com/products/personal-defense/defense-sprays/jogging-fitness-mace-pepper-spray) is perfect for runners. If you don’t like having things in your hands while running, try the Booby Trap Bra to carry your pepper spray in. A woman who was attacked while wearing her active gear created the Booby Trap Bra. She decided to take her experience and create a product that would empower women to stay active while having the means to protect themselves on their body. You can find out more about the Booby Trap Bra here. (http://boobytrapbras.com/how-it-began/)
We want to hear from you! How do you practice personal safety while out running?
According to the Travel Channel, the top ten cities for cycling are: Boulder, Portland, New York City, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Tucson, Austin, Missoula, San Diego and Louisville. Personally, when I lived in New York City, you couldn’t pay me to get on a bicycle because I was afraid of careless drivers and narrow streets. However, in the past few years, great improvements have been made to make the city and all of these other cities listed, a friendlier place for cyclists.
Now that I live in Los Angeles, I try to use my bicycle as much as I can all year round because the weather permits it. Not only does biking save you dollars at the gas pump, but you are also burning calories while commuting. As if that’s not enough to persuade you to hit the road on a bike, the benefits to the environment are worth it alone. Your carbon footprint will reduce drastically and that’s a benefit to everyone.
Whether you live in a bike friendly city or not, you will need to take safety precautions before and during your ride. In honor of National Bike Safety Month, here are 5 ways to stay safe while biking:
1. Watch out for opening doors.
While riding through the city or town streets next to parked cars, try to keep an eye ahead looking for people in parked cars who may be about to open their doors into traffic. Getting hit by an opening door is NOT fun. Use a bell to alert both drivers and pedestrians that you are coming in hot!
2. Wear a helmet.
Protect your most important asset, your brain! If you are ever struck by a car or knocked off your bike somehow, protecting your brain is vital to your future healing.
3. Carry protection.
You never know when you may find yourself with a flat tire. Or perhaps you’ve taken a wrong turn and wound up in a dodgy neighborhood. It’s always important to carry some form of non-lethal protection, if you are ever threatened by someone up to no good.
The Mace Brand KeyGuard pepper spray carabiner model is great for biking safety because it is easy to latch on to your belt buckle, keys (if they are easily accessible) or even your handle bars. You want to keep it in a place that is out in the open and ready for you to grab and use when needed. To protect yourself against an unruly dog, you can also carry a Mace Brand Muzzle Dog Pepper Spray. Last but not least, depending on your bike tires, you may want to carry an extra tube or a patch kit in case of a flat.
4. Invest in a trusty lock.
I know very few people that live in Los Angeles that have not had a bike stolen from them. A strong bike lock is not the thing to scrimp on. Invest in a good bike lock to reduce bike theft because nobody is happy after seeing their wire lock cut open and bike missing.
5. Be seen at night.
It can be difficult to see a bike at night if you are a driver, especially on roads that are not well lit. Now imagine how much safer you could be if you had blinking lights for cars to spot you. Try having at least one white blinking light on the front of your bike and one red blinking light on the back. I also wear an LED arm band blinking light like this one from Mace Brand, and the Mace Brand Shoe Safety Lights at the same time. You can never be too bright!
Mace Brand Mother’s Day Blog Post
By Jennifer Cassetta
Keep Mom Safe and Healthy with These 3 Tips
Every day should be Mother’s Day. Moms deserve our appreciation and gratitude for giving us life, guidance and unconditional love. On Sunday, May 14th let’s show our moms that we not only appreciate them but care for their health and safety as well.
Our moms are most likely the ones that taught us certain personal safety basics from a young age. Things like “stranger danger” or simply “don’t talk strangers” are common tips a young mom will teach her kids. Moms can be our greatest protectors while we are young.
As we age, at least for me, the roles begin to reverse and we start to be more concerned for our parents’ personal safety and health.
Depending on where you are in the cycle of life, your mom may be starting to get to an age where she could use some more assistance then she did previously. If that sounds like you, here is a basic checklist of things you could do to keep your mom safe and healthy:
1. Make sure your mom is going for her annual health exams
Many people choose not to go to the doctor unless something is wrong, but it’s important to know vital stats and track them from year to year. Things like getting stats from blood work, blood pressure, resting heart rate, and mammograms (especially if breast cancer runs in the family) are fundamental as we age.
2. Encourage exercise
Support your mom’s exercise routine and if she doesn’t have one, it’s never too late to start. Exercise is going to keep mom’s heart strong, weight managed and bones strong. A balanced exercise routine can also lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels and manage stress and anxiety.
If your mom isn’t the type to head out to the gym, there are plenty of great ways to encourage her to exercise at home. Map out a safe route for her to walk everyday to get her heart rate up. Perhaps she can find a neighbor or friend that will join with her for safety and accountability reasons. My mom has a stationary bike and treadmill at home, which are also great ideas for moms that live in colder climates and can’t get outside all year round. For tech savvy moms, a FitBit or other fitness trackers would be a great gift for Mother’s Day to help them track their fitness and reach their goals.
3. Provide personal safety and defense products
Last, but so critical, is thinking of mom’s safety. This is something we think about especially if mom is alone. Safety for single moms or moms that have lost their significant others should be high on our priority list.
I absolutely love the Mace Alert 911 as a gift for mom’s personal safety. It will help her reach emergency services by the press of a button. She can wear the device around her neck while she’s out exercising, shopping or home alone. If anything goes wrong and she feels in danger she can easily access 911, instead of having to find her phone. The Mace Alert 911 will track her by GPS and she will have help in no time. What a relief!
Whether you live in a big city or small town, it’s important to teach children about their personal safety. There is no perfect age to do this but, in general, the sooner the better. Empowering your young ones with lessons of safety not only makes them safer, it can also have you worry less.
1. Listen to your intuition
Our intuition is our greatest gift when it comes to personal safety for ourselves and for our children. We tend to take our intuition lightly and oftentimes ignore our gut feelings.
Having a gut feeling that something is off about your child’s safety whether at daycare, school or home with a babysitter is a feeling you should always listen to. If you are wrong, no harm is done. If you are right, then you can take action to protect your family. Either way, tune in and investigate your feelings.
2. Talk to your kids
I grew up with a Dad that was an ex-NYPD detective, which meant two things: I didn’t get away with anything and I was taught at an early age to be aware of my personal safety.
It may be challenging to speak to your children about the possible danger that could affect them in the world. We don’t want to scare our children and at the same time we want to make them feel protected and safe. However, it is important to teach kids about “stranger danger” and even danger from people that aren’t strangers. Sadly, many children are harmed by people that they do know, whether that be a family member, caretaker or other member of the community.
Keep an open dialogue and assure your kids that it is safe to confide in you anytime that someone violates their personal space.
3. Teach kids personal space
Personal space can vary between cultures. Generally speaking, here in the U.S. personal space can be defined by holding your arms out to your side and twirling 360 degrees. Anything inside that circle is your personal space. We can teach kids that strangers should not be in their personal space without consent. The same goes for people that are not strangers. Empower your child to set boundaries within their personal space and to communicate when they feel their boundaries have been violated.
4. Add a layer of protection
Before sending your kids off to the bus stop or the playground place an added layer of protection on them by clipping the Mace Brand clip-on personal alarm onto their jacket or backpack. If they ever feel threatened, they can press the alarm to alert bystanders that they may be in danger. The alarm may also deter the attacker. As an added back up, the alarm also acts as a whistle.
5. Take them to martial arts classes
As someone who taught kid’s martial arts classes for years, I can tell you firsthand that the benefits of teaching kids self defense through martial arts are incredible. I saw young, shy children blossom into confident young leaders in the studio that I taught at. Martial arts not only teaches kids how to kick and punch but more importantly, how to stick up for themselves and others. It also helps them with discipline too, which is an added bonus!