A child can be taught safety rules

at a very young age. Follow these

tips to help protect your children --

and to teach them how to protect

themselves.

Never leave a small child

alone in a grocery cart or car --

even for a minute.

Be sure your child's day-care

center or school will not

release the youngster to

anyone but you or someone

you designate. Instruct the

school or center to call you immediately

if your child is absent.

Also have them call you

at your listed number to verify

that someone else will be picking

up your child.

Warn children never to go

anywhere with anyone -- even

a friend -- without your permission.

Teach them to avoid walking

or playing alone.

Have the child tell you when

any adult asks him or her to

keep a "secret," asks too

many questions, wants to give

a gift or takes their picture.

Encourage them to tell you

about any unusual occurrances

or uncomfortable situations

that take place when you

are apart.

Teach children to call out or to

flee from anyone who bothers

them.

Establish a code word known

only to you and the child,

changing the word once it has

been used. Instruct your child

never to go with any adult

who does not give that code

word.

Are you able to describe the

clothing your child is wearing

at all times? Take notice.

Keep your child's fingerprints,

current photographs, dental

and medical records in a safe,

easily accessible place.

Teach your child how to get

home by recognizing

landmarks in your neighborhood.

Should your child become

separated from you, have a

set plan of what the child

should do to find you.

If your child arrives

home

alone after

school, have

them contact

you, a designated

neighbor

or a relative

when they get

there.

They should never enter the

house if a door is open or a

window is broken.

Whenever possible, keep

doors and windows locked

day and night. If windows are

opened for ventilation, make

sure the screens are secured.

Teach your children how to

use all locking mechanisms.

Demonstrate and practice

how they would get out of the

house quickly in case of a fire.

Warn youngsters not to give

out personal information to a

stranger on the telephone, or

say that they are home alone.

Tell them not to answer the

door when they are alone.

Call a neighbor or police immediately

if someone tries to

get into the house.

Teach a young child his or her

full name, address (including

city and state) and phone

number (including area code).

Show them how to place a

long distance call (both directly

to you and by dialing "0" for

the Operator).

Be sure your child knows

where you will be and how to

reach you when you are

apart. They can

relay messages

to you when

you're out of the

house. By your

returning the

call, you can

give the impression

that you

are home.

Ask a neighbor

to check on

children periodically if left

home alone for any length of

time.

Let your children know if you

are not going to be home on

time.

Teach your children, as early

as they can understand,

about 911 and how it is used.

Demonstrate and have them

practice -- using an unplugged

phone.

Instruct them never to go into

any house but their own

without your permission.

Call your local Los Angeles Security

branch office or 800-654-7797 for

a free child fingerprinting kit.