Skip to the Content
Entrance to Sheriff's Office Building

ARCHIVED PERSONAL SAFETY ARTICLES

This page contains past articles pertaining to keeping your family safe. Special tips and tricks on traveling, little children and high schoolers safety.

For a list of all archived articles visit our Archived Articles List.

 




brown bulletpointArchived Personal Safety Articles

 

 

5 TIPS FOR SAFE & FUN BICYCLING

The Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips for safe and enjoyable bicycling:

Safety Tips
We can make bicycling safer for all by observing the following safety tips:

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Obey all traffic controls
  • Ride your bicycle near the right-hand edge of the road
  • Never carry another person on your bicycle
  • Always use hand signals when turning or stopping
  • Look out for cars at cross street, driveways, and parking places
  • Be careful when checking traffic and don't swerve when looking over your shoulder
  • Give pedestrians the right-of-way
  • Keep your bicycle in good condition
  • Always ride carefully

Remember a bicycle is a vehicle. Bicyclists share a complex traffic environment with other larger forms of transportation. Youngsters under age nine lack the physical and mental development to interact safely in that environment.


Article from: http://www.adventuresportsonline.com/bikesafe.htm

 

Back To Top


AVOID CREDIT CARD RIPOFFS

For the sake of maintaining a decent credit score and financing major purchases that cannot wait, you need one credit card.  Naturally, you want a credit card with the highest possible credit limit and the lowest possible interest rate. 

Be on guard against everyday hazards.
 Try to anticipate and pay routine expenses with cash.  Using your credit card less, you minimize your exposure.  That cute young server who delivered your lunch very easily could have written-down your digits and run-up all kinds of charges from a disposable cell phone by the time you returned to the office.  According to Scambusters.org, “Research shows that the rate of fraudulent purchases made by cell phones is much higher than credit card fraud on the net.”  If you must use your credit card for business expenses, try not to let it out of your sight.  Whether or not the server thinks you are rude, watch her process your transaction; then, carefully enter your thoughtful tip and total the amount yourself.  Just as importantly, if you know you frequently will use a credit card, find one that includes cell-phone fraud alerts and lets you track the card’s use from your handheld.

Experts sternly counsel never use your credit card on the telephone—especially never give your credit card information on an incoming call.  You have no way of authenticating the call or confirming the caller’s identity.  Stories abound about rogue telemarketers who have worked briefly for big banks, memorizing the scripts and perfecting their delivery, then going out to test their criminal skills using the banks’ own lists of borrowers.  A few even have run their schemes while remaining on the banks’ payrolls.  Especially beware of telephone solicitors who demand too much information: The more they ask, the more you should decline.

Be wary about internet purchases.
Before you worry about the security of an internet purchase, be cautious about its frugality.  Check the shipping costs associated with your order as well as the price of the item you like.  An extortionate shipping fee will wipe-out your deep discount.  If a major retailer offers a great online bargain, call your nearest store and negotiate for similar savings in-store.  The best stores—Nordstrom, The Home Depot, and Macy’s, for example–often will meet your demands because they value your loyalty
Never give your credit card information to an unsecured site.  Your web browser usually will warn you if you are about to transmit your data to a site not properly encrypted.  Never respond to an e-mail that requests your credit card data, and be especially cautious about unsolicited e-mails that ask address and telephone information in addition to your credit card digits.  Skilled identity thieves can recreate you with just four or five critical numbers.

Use a good anti-virus program.
Most importantly, maintain your anti-virus software, because sophisticated viruses, often enclosed in fake security software, easily can invade your hard drive and steal all of your personal data.  FBI officials report that nearly three-quarters of internet identity theft now originates in malware, and malicious programs proliferate at that the rate more than 100,000 per day.

Track your spending and read your statements.
Reconcile your credit card statements with your records just as religiously as you review and reconcile your checking account statements. When in doubt, contest.  If you see a purchase for which you have no receipt or an expense you could not possibly have incurred, call the credit card company’s fraud line. The best, most reputable credit card companies assure they thoroughly investigate all disputed charges; hold them to their promises.  More importantly, the best companies will remove the charge from your bill pending the investigation, so that it does not affect your available credit.  Apply similar rules to fees.  If you dispute any fee’s legitimacy, contest it.

Move shredding to the top of your list for fun evening activities.  Shred credit card receipts and unsolicited credit card applications; unless you really intend to use old credit card statements, shred them, too.  Better still, go paperless and do the planet a favor.  Do not write down your PIN, and try not to use obvious PINs like birthdays and children’s names; indulge your sneaky, devious tendencies as you make-up PINs, and then commit them firmly to memory.

 

 

Back To Top

 


Back to School Safety

Transportation Safety

Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your child safely travels to school.

Walking to school

  • Review your family’s walking safety rules.
  • Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. When on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
  • Before you cross the street, stop and look all ways to see if cars are coming.
  • Never dart out in front of a parked car.
  • Practice walking to school with your child.

Riding a bicycle to school

  • Make sure your child always wears his helmet when leaving the house.
  • Teach your children the rules of the road they need to know to ride their bicycles.
  • Ride on the right side of the road and in a single file.
  • Come to a complete stop before crossing the street.

Riding the bus to school

  • Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.
  • Make sure your children stand six feet away from the curb.
  • If your child and you need to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the side of the road until you are at least 12 feet ahead of the bus. You always should be able to see the bus driver, and the bus driver always should be able to see you.

School Safety

Many school-related injuries are completely preventable. Follow these steps to ensure your child’s safety at school.

  • Preventing backpack-related injuries
  • Chose a backpack for your child carefully. It should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort.
  • Don’t overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
  • For example, a child that weighs 60 pounds should carry a backpack no heavier than 12 pounds.
  • Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to evenly distribute the weight.

Preventing playground-related injuries

  • Encourage your child only to use playgrounds with a soft surface. Avoid playgrounds with concrete, grass and dirt surfaces, as they are too hard.
  • Children under the age of four should not use climbing equipment and watch older children when they’re climbing.
  • Do not let your children use monkey bars. They are unsafe and should not be used by children of any age.

 

Back To Top

 


BIG CITY / LITTLE TOWN CRIME

Whether you live in a big city or a small town, there is crime everywhere.  However a larger city has more unknowns and it is vital to know how to remain safe on the city streets. People who come from smaller towns may be caught off guard by the amount of crime and violent activity that is present in large cities, but by being aware and taking a few precautions you can stay safe wherever you go.

Be Vigilant
The most important thing you can do when you are on city streets or anywhere else is to be aware of your surroundings. Understand that criminals look for easy opportunities to assault an unsuspecting victim. A typical target will be a person who is clearly from out of town and may be intimidated by big city life. Be careful where you go, and pay attention to everything and everyone around you. A predator never wants to be seen before committing a crime, so if you walk intently with your head held high and survey everything, you will be a far less likely target.

When you are out at night, try to stay in areas that are brightly lit. Darker streets and alleys offer the perfect cover for an assailant to hide and catch you by surprise. Walk with friends anytime you can, because criminals are far less likely to approach a group than an individual. If you are alone, keep a brisk pace, get to where you are going and make your way inside. As you return to your vehicle, be prepared to get in right away. Lock the door and drive off quickly. You never know when a predator may be nearby watching to see if you linger and give them an opportunity to assault you.

Guard Your Money
In the city there are thousands of people around, so the odds of encountering a predator becomes very high. They watch for potential victims at all times, and one of the things they look for is someone who is obviously carrying a large amount of money or valuable personal items. Never flash cash on a city street, as that will encourage a thief to target you. It's a good idea to keep your money well hidden and located in an area that is difficult to get to. A pick pocket may be able to pull your wallet out of a back or jacket pocket, but will be far less likely to attempt to reach into a front pocket, which makes that an ideal location to store your money and credit cards. Some experts also recommend carrying a second wallet with just a small amount of money and invalid credit cards. That way you have something to turn over if you are ever mugged.

Women should carry their purses close to their bodies, but not with the shoulder strap placed securely around the neck. A purse snatcher may be determined to take what you have, and it can turn violent as they wrench the purse from you. It's better to let a thief take your personal belongings than to risk being hurt. Carry as little cash as possible, and only one or two credit cards. Then if the purse is taken, your loss will not be too great.

A Street Encounter
Although it's always best to be polite, even to strangers, it is a good idea to be very wary of anyone you don't know who approaches you. They may ask for directions, money or anything else. Answer quickly, and continue on your way. If they persist, tell them that you are unable to help and mention that a police officer would be better suited to provide assistance. You may find yourself being followed, and if so remain in a public area. Find a police station or security guard and explain your predicament.

Carrying a personal alarm is a great way to deter strangers who will not back down. Sounding the alarm will grab the attention of everyone around, and focus it on you. A predator won't want to be seen by witnesses, and will leave you alone.

In Case Of Assault
When an attack is unavoidable, you must be prepared to fight back. Practice any self defense maneuvers you know and aim for pressure points on the assailant's body. If you have a self defense weapon like pepper spray or a stun gun, don't be afraid to use it. The device will protect you and leave no permanent damage on the aggressor.
Anyone who has been hurt during a violent assault or rape while visiting the city should seek out immediate medical attention. Get to a hospital as quickly as possible, and make a full report with the police.

 

Back To Top


Carbon Monoxide - Silent Killer

Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.

  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
  • Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
  • A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.

 

This article from: The National Fire Protection Agency http://www.nfpa.org/ 

Back To Top

 


SAFETY IN THE PARKS


As you know, crime is on the increase in most large U.S. cities. It is also becoming more prevalent in small communities.  You can make yourself less of a target and it is easier than you might think.
Criminals are always looking for new targets, and they prefer people who seem to be weak, timid and unable to defend themselves. You must not fit the profile of a victim and do whatever you can to keep out of their way. It will not always be possible to avoid confrontation, so you should also know what to do if you are threatened with violence.

A trip to a public park can be a fun and exciting time. Whether it's a quick adventure to a local spot where your kids can play, or a big outing to a national park, people all over the United States enjoy taking a little time to enjoy the many benefits a park has to offer. It is, however, important to be prepared and plan ahead for safety

Adult Safety
Although some people may only think of parks as being small play areas for children, they are great for grown up as well. Adults use them for walking, jogging, hiking, sight-seeing and many other purposes. Nothing could ruin a good experience like this faster than running into some type of predator.

Whether you are in a national park or a local community park you need to be aware of who or what is around you.  Predators can be animal or human.  If you jog regularly through a park you get to recognize others who are in the park at the same time.  Criminals know how to find someone when they are alone and not paying enough attention to their surroundings. Law breakers watch for easy targets; people who are isolated, vulnerable and easy to take by surprise. That makes it important to always be extra cautious. Try to avoid areas that are dark, or have obstacles that someone could hide behind. Criminals like to take advantage of secluded areas where they can hide and surprise a potential victim. Take in everything that is around you, and try not to look lost, confused or timid. These are all traits that aggressors like muggers and thieves look for, but if they see someone who is actively aware of their surroundings, confident and possibly the type to fight back, chances are they will leave you alone.

Keeping Kids Safe
Children enjoy a day at the park. They like to run around and play, but it is essential to keep a watchful eye on them and make sure they are close by at all times. Predators often use parks as a place to hide and watch for potential victims, and a kid who has strayed far away from adult supervision is an easy target. Go into the play area with your younger children, or sit and watch nearby. If your child gets far enough away that you could not get to them quickly, either move or call them back over to you.

Another great way to keep children safe in a park is to give them a personal alarm that emits a high pitched squalling noise when activated. You can choose a model that the child can turn on whenever he or she feels threatened, or one that automatically starts up anytime they move out of a specified distance from you. It will let everyone around know that something is wrong, and draw immediate attention to your child.

Be Prepared
Even if you're only going to a park that's down the street from your home, it's important to be prepared. Always take a phone with you in case you need to make an emergency call. If something happens and you need to dial 911, you will want to have a cell so you can call immediately. If you are going to an area where you may be alone, especially after dark, you may want to take a personal alarm to protect yourself and notify others that you are in danger.
A crime or an emergency can happen at any time, so always be ready for everything. Take a few precautions in advance, remain well aware of everything that's going on around you and have a great time at the park.


Article by: http://www.crimepreventiontips.org/safety-in-public/safety-while-in-the-park.html

 

Back To Top

 


SAFETY TIPS FOR TRAVELERS

When you're traveling for business or pleasure, make sure you remember these safety tips provided by the American Hotel and Motel Association:

  • Don't answer the door in a hotel or motel room without first verifying the identity of the person at the door. If the person claims to be an employee, call the front desk and ask if someone from their staff is supposed to have access to your room and for what purpose.
  • When returning to your hotel or motel late in the evening, use the main entrance of the hotel. Be observant and look around before entering parking lots.
  • Close the door securely whenever you are in your room and use all of the locking devices provided.
  • Don't needlessly display guest room keys in public or carelessly leave them on restaurant tables, at the swimming pool, or other places where they can be easily stolen.
  • Do not draw attention to yourself by displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.
  • Don't invite strangers to your room.
  • Place all valuables in the hotel or motel's safe deposit box.
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • Check to see that any sliding glass doors or windows and any connecting room doors are locked.
  • If you see any suspicious activity, please report your observations to the management.
  • Discretely carry a map and be familiar with the area you are visiting. Plan trips in advance.
  • Don't leave purses or pocketbooks on the back of a chair when dining out; keep them in your lap and insight.
  • Keep your wallet in the front pocket of pants or a jacket pocket, not in the rear pocket.

 

Article from: Broward County Sheriff
http://sheriff.org/safety/travelers.cfm

 

Back To Top

 


Take Safety On Your Picnic

This is the time to enjoy a picnic with family and friends.  However, if picnic foods are not handled safely, they can cause foodborne illness. To prevent illness, follow these simple tips:

Prepare food safely

  • Wash hands before handling food and use clean utensils and containers.
  • Do not prepare foods more than one day before your picnic unless it is to be frozen.
  • Mayonnaise-based foods need to be kept cold. Mayonnaise alone is too acidic for bacteria to grow in it. However, when mayonnaise is mixed with other foods, bacteria can grow if this mixture is kept too warm.
  • Cut melons need to be kept cold. Melons, such as watermelons and cantaloupe, can cause foodborne illness. Bacteria, such as Salmonella and Shigella, are often present on the rind. Wash melons thoroughly before cutting, then promptly refrigerate cut pieces.

Packing for safety

  • Keep cold food at 40ºF or colder to prevent bacterial growth. Never just set containers of food on top of ice.
  • The trunk of your car can reach temperatures of 150ºF so it is best to transport coolers in the passenger area of the car. When you arrive at the picnic site, put a blanket over the cooler and place it in the shade to maintain cold temperatures.
  • Keep hot foods at 140ºF or hotter to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Take-out foods or foods cooked just before being transported to the picnic can be carried hot. Wrap hot food in towels, then newspaper, and place inside a box or heavy paper bag.
  • If you cannot keep cold food cold and hot food hot, take foods that do not need temperature control:
  • peanut butter sandwiches
  • dried fruit, nuts, unpeeled fresh fruit -- apples, oranges, bananas
  • jelly sandwiches
  • unopened cans of food, meat, fish or fruit
  • cookies and cakes
  • crackers
  • Wash your hands often. Pack moist towelettes if you think your picnic site might not have hand washing facilities available.
  • Pack plenty of utensils and dishware. Never use the utensils and dishware that have touched raw foods, such as meat, fish and poultry, to store cooked foods. Because proper washing might be difficult at a picnic, pack extra plates and utensils to prevent cross-contamination. Better yet, consider using disposable plates.

Cooking food at the picnic

  • Wash hands before handling food and use clean utensils and containers.
  • Thoroughly cook food all at one time. Never partially cook food, let it sit, then finish cooking it later. All bacteria is not destroyed by cooking, so reheating the food later will not make it safe.
  • Whether cooking indoors or outside on a grill, meat and poultry must be cooked thoroughly to ensure that harmful bacteria are destroyed. Grill raw poultry until the juices run clear and there is no pink close to the bone. Hamburgers should not be pink in the center.

Serving

  • Keep cold foods cold while serving the meal. Do not let cold foods sit out for more than one hour.
  • Keep hot foods hot while serving the meal. Cooked foods are just as perishable as raw foods, so once grilled foods are cooked do not let them sit out for more than one hour.
  • Prevent contamination. Keep foods covered to prevent contamination by insects. Many insects can carry harmful bacteria and viruses on their bodies.

Handling leftovers

  • If your picnic food has not been sitting out for more than an hour, repack it into the cooler.  If the food has been out for more than an hour – throw it out. The more time that food has been sitting at unsafe temperatures, the more likely harmful bacteria has grown.
  • Cold foods kept in a cooler that still has ice may be safe. If the ice is melted, throw out the food. Cold water cannot keep foods cold enough to be safe.

 

This article adapted from:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/foodsci/ext/pubs/picnic.html

 

Back To Top

 


THUNDERSTORMS & LIGHTNING

In the United States, lightning kills 300 people and injures 80 on average, each year. All thunderstorms produce lightning and all have the potential for danger. Those dangers can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, wildfires and flash flooding, which is responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm-related hazard.

Lightning's risk to individuals and property is increased because of its unpredictability, which emphasizes the importance of preparedness.  Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.

Before Thunderstorm and Lightning

To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.

During Thunderstorms and Lightning

If thunderstorm and lightning are occurring in your area, you should:

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones and devices including those plugged into electric for recharging.  Cordless and wireless phones not connected to wall outlets are OK to use.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes, and do not do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.
  • Avoid natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
  • Avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on the water.
  • Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
  • Avoid contact with anything metal—tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicycles.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.

After a Thunderstorm or Lightning Strike

If lightning strikes you or someone you know, call 9-1-1 for medical assistance as soon as possible. The following are things you should check when you attempt to give aid to a victim of lightning:

  • Breathing - if breathing has stopped, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Heartbeat - if the heart has stopped, administer CPR.
  • Pulse - if the victim has a pulse and is breathing, look for other possible injuries. Check for burns where the lightning entered and left the body. Also be alert for nervous system damage, broken bones and loss of hearing and eyesight.

After the storm passes remember to:

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don’t drown!
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.
  • Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
  • Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or those with access or functional needs.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
  • Watch your animals closely. Keep them under your direct control.

 

 

Back To Top

 


TIPS TO PREVENT CHILD POISONING

These simple steps can help you save children from environmental hazards around the home:

  1. Storing Pesticides and Chemicals – Always store pesticides and other household chemicals, including chlorine bleach, out of children's reach -- preferably in a locked cabinet.
  2. Read the Label FIRST! Pesticide products, household cleaning products, and pet products can be dangerous or ineffective if too much or too little is used.
  3. Before applying pesticides or other household chemicals, remove children and their toys, as well as pets, from the area. Keep children and pets away until the pesticide has dried or as long as is recommended on the label.
  4. If your use of a pesticide or other household chemical is interrupted (perhaps by a phone call), properly reclose the container and remove it from children’s reach. Always use household products in child-resistant packaging.
  5. Never transfer pesticides to other containers that children may associate with food or drink(like soda bottles), and never place rodent or insect baits where small children can get to them.
  6. When applying insect repellents to children, read all directions first; do not apply over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin; do not apply to eyes, mouth, hands, or directly on the face; and use just enough to cover exposed skin or clothing, but do not use under clothing.
  7. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. If you plan to remodel or renovate, get your home tested . Don’t try to remove lead paint yourself.
  8. Ask about lead when buying or renting a home. Sellers and landlords must disclose known lead hazards in houses or apartments built before 1978.
  9. . Get your child tested for lead. There are no visible symptoms of lead poisoning, and children may suffer behavior or learning problems as a result of exposure to lead hazards.
  10. Wash children’s hands, toys, and bottles often. Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces to reduce possible exposure to lead and pesticide residues.

 

Tips from EPA website:
http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/child-ten-tips.htm

 

Back To Top

 


TIPS TO PREVENT CRIME

It is estimated that $65 million is lost each year in the United States in home invasions, muggings, and in other violent crimes. It is estimated that $600 billion is lost per year due to fraud. Work place violence caused an estimated $30 billion to American businesses last year.

It is important to be aware a crime can occur, anticipating the location, time, and taking action to reduce the chance of it happening. Crime prevention is key to stopping the ability and opportunity for a criminal. The use of instinct, knowledge, common sense, and awareness can make you a tough target.

Three Basic Rules

  • Stay alert.
  • Keep your mind on your surroundings, who's in front of you and who's behind you. Don't get distracted.
  • Walk purposefully, stand tall, and make eye contact with people around you.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, leave.

Personal Protection

  • Make yourself a "tough target."
  • Don't think that it can't happen to you.
  • Should you resist? Everyone and every situation is different.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • If being followed or stalked, call 911 or drive directly to a police station

If You’re Attacked

  • Keep your head. Stay as calm as possible and evaluate your options and resources.
  • It may be more advisable to submit than to resist and risk severe injury or death. You will have to make this decision based on the circumstances. But, don't resist if the attacker has a weapon.
  • Keep assessing the situation as it is happening. If one strategy doesn't work, try another. Possible options include negotiating, stalling for time, distracting the assailant and fleeing to a safe place, verbal assertiveness, screaming, and physical resistance.
  • You may be able to turn the attacker off with unusual behavior such as throwing up, acting crazy, or stating you have a sexually transmitted disease.

After a Sexual Assault

  • Go to a safe place and call the police.
  • The sooner you report the crime, the greater the chances your attacker will be caught.
  • DO NOT shower, bathe, douche, or destroy any clothing you were wearing. Do not disturb any physical evidence.
  • Go to a hospital emergency room for medical care.
  • Call someone to be with you. You should not be alone. Contact a rape treatment or crisis center to help you deal with the consequences of the assault.

While Driving

  • Keep your car in good condition with the gas tank at least half full.
  • Park in well-lighted areas and lock your doors, no matter how long you'll be gone.
  • Put valuables out of sight or in the trunk.
  • Check front and rear seats, and floorboards before entering your car.
  • Drive with all doors locked and windows rolled up.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers. If your car breaks down, put the hood up, lock the doors, turn on the flashers, and move to the passenger seat. Do not leave your car. If someone stops to help, roll down the window slightly and ask them to call the police or a tow truck.
  • Avoid underground and enclosed parking garages if possible.
  • When parking or returning to your vehicle, carry your keys and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Consider investing in a cellular telephone.

Public Transportation

  • Try to use well-lighted and frequently used stops.
  • Try to sit near the driver or conductor.
  • Avoid sitting near exits. An attacker can reach in and grab a purse or jewelry as the bus or subway pulls away.
  • Be alert to who gets off the bus or subway with you. If you feel uncomfortable, walk directly to a place where there are other people.

In an Elevator

  • Look in the elevator before getting in.
  • Stand near the controls.
  • Get off if someone suspicious enters. If you're worried about someone who is waiting for the elevator with you, pretend you forgot something and don't get on.
  • If you're attacked, hit the alarm and as many floor buttons as possible.

 


Traveling to and from School

 

Walking
Walking to school is a great form of exercise. Teach your children to be safe when crossing the street or playing near traffic.

  • Stop at the curb and look left-right-left for traffic before stepping into the street, and watch for other cars as you cross.
  • Look for signs that a car is about to move from a parking space or driveway, such as rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of a motor or wheels turning.
  • Listen to the directions of a crossing guard.

 
Biking
Before heading out on a bike, make sure it is in working condition and that the rider is wearing a helmet.

Make sure the route to and from school is safe. Avoid heavy traffic, hills, sharp turns and streets with many bumps or potholes. Remember to obey the rules of the road and use hand signals to communicate turns and stops. If allowed, children should ride on the sidewalk away from cars and other fast traffic.

Driving
Parents should require everyone in the car to wear a seatbelt at all times. Younger children should be safely secured in an age-appropriate car seat or booster seat, and children under age 13 should always ride in the back seat.

All drivers should be extra alert when driving in school zones and avoid distractions, such as eating, drinking and using a cellphone.
Parents can help keep their teen safe while driving by setting restrictions on number of passengers and eliminating distractions.
 
Riding a bus
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding a school bus is the safest way for a child to get to school. Teach your children to be safe while boarding and riding the bus.

  • Stop at the curb and wait for the bus to come to a complete stop.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street to get to or from the bus.
  • Listen to the bus driver’s instructions at all times.

 

Article from American Academy of Pediatrics.  
http://aapnews.aappublications.org/content/33/8/25.4.full

 


Archived List >>

 

Back to Top

 

Current Articles >>

 

Information and recommendations are compiled from sources believed to be reliable. The Sheriff’s Office  makes no guarantee as to and assumes no responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations. Other or additional safety measures may be required under particular circumstances.

Last Revised: 09/14