Keep­ing chil­dren safe

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Stanstead

A free child iden­ti­fi­ca­tion clinic was held at the CAB RH Rediker’s PACE pro­gram, yes­ter­day morn­ing, and Sureté du Que­bec com­mu­nity of­fi­cer Sgt. Pa­trice Gre­goire filled out around twenty iden­ti­fi­ca­tion book­lets with par­ents and their chil­dren. “We made book­lets with the chil­dren in the pro­gram first and about thir­teen moth- ers dropped in with their chil­dren,” said Sgt. Gre­goire be­fore the morn­ing was over. The lucky chil­dren also re­ceived a col­or­ing book and a po­lice cap for their ef­forts: pro­vid­ing a foot­print and fin­ger prints for the book­let which stays in the hands of the par­ents. The book­let is an im­por­tant iden­ti­fi­ca­tion tool to use in the event of a child be­ing ab­ducted or go­ing miss­ing. It con­tains in­forma-

tion such as the names and phone num­bers of friends, pho­to­graphs and de­scrip­tions.

“I also go over safety rules with the par­ents so that we never have to use the book­let,” com­mented Sgt. Gre­goire. Those im­por­tant safety tips in­clude: never leave a child alone in a pub­lic place, their stroller, or a car; as soon as the child is old enough, they should know their full name, par­ents’ names, ad­dress and tele­phone num­ber; when out­side, older kids should al­ways be with at least one friend; chil­dren need to ask their par­ents be­fore get­ting into a car or go­ing some­where; chil­dren should know where to get help and how to call 911; chil­dren must be told they have the right to say “No” to any­one, in­clud­ing friends and fam­ily; chil­dren should al­ways walk the same way to school and should not have their name clearly vis­i­ble on their be­long­ings; you and your child should have a spe­cial pass­word which can be used by a third per­son who wants the child to ac­com­pany them in case of an emer­gency; choose a trusted adult with your child that they can go to in your ab­sence; check out peo­ple who will spend time with your child, such as a babysit­ter or a coach; su­per­vise your child’s ac­tiv­i­ties on­line, teach­ing them not to give away per­sonal in­for­ma­tion or meet with a cyber friend with­out telling their par­ents; and tell your child not to keep se­crets, es­pe­cially those that make them feel un­com­fort­able or self-con­scious.

Photo courtesy

Many moms and their chil­dren, all happy to wear their po­lice caps, pose with Sgt. Pa­trice Gre­goire af­ter fill­ing out their child iden­ti­fi­ca­tion book­lets at the CAB’s PACE pro­gram, in Stanstead on Tues­day.

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