Teach your Children about the Block Parent Program
Throughout the year, the Waterloo Regional Block Parent Program attends and hosts a number of events to help raise awareness regarding child safety in our community. We present to schools, neighbourhood associations, community centres, and various social groups throughout the Region. Here, we have provided some helpful tips that you can use to educate your children on safety in the home and outside the home.
Information for Children
Block Parents are there to help you!
Block Parents are kind and caring volunteers who are home and available to help you. You might be walking to school, playing at the park, walking to the store or going to a friend’s house. While you’re out in your neighbourhood, you might feel like you need help.
You might need help if you are lost, if the weather is really bad, if you don’t have keys for your house, if you don’t have your cell phone or the battery needs to be charged, or someone or something is making you scared. If you feel like this, you can go to a Block Parent home and an adult will be there to help you.
When you’re in your neighbourhood, look for homes that display the red and white Block Parent sign in their window.
When you feel you need to knock on a Block Parent door, the Block Parent will ask you what’s wrong and then will sit with you on their front porch while they call your parents or guardian. They will stay with you and make sure you are okay until help arrives.
Don’t forget! You shouldn’t go to a Block Parent home for a drink, a snack, or to use the washroom. Block Parents are there to help you when you are frightened, lost or hurt.
Congratulations for going outside and getting to know your neighbourhood! And while you’re learning to be an independent young person, we’re proud to be there to help you if you need it!
Information for Parents
Safety Starts at Home
Here are some simple safety tips that you can put into practice and review with your child at home
- Take elementary school-aged children on a walking tour of their route to and from school and point out Block Parent homes and other safe places along the way.
- Never put your child’s name on the outside of their coats, hats, backpacks, etc. Having their name on the outside makes it easier for someone to gain their trust by calling them by name.
- Make sure your child knows their name, address and parents’ telephone number.
- Make sure your child knows how to use their cell phone in case of an emergency.
- Always keep an updated list of names, addresses and phone numbers of your child’s friends.
- Be familiar with your child’s friends and daily activities.
- Reinforce with your child that they shouldn’t talk to strangers.
- Consider using a secret code or password should someone other than you pick your child up.
- Check with your school to see if they have a “safe arrival program”/ absentee check or a “walking school bus” program.
Safety at School
- Know where the Block Parent homes are located on your route to school and in your neighbourhood.
- When going to school, go directly there and do not stop along the way.
- Use the same route every day.
- Never go with anyone unless they can give you the secret code or password.
- Never ride home with anyone unless you have your parents’ permission first.
- Always ask for your parents’ permission before going to a friend’s home after school.
Safety at Home
- Know your emergency phone numbers
- Never give out information over the phone.
- Never open the door to anyone you don’t know.
- Do not have friends over unless your parents approve
Safety while Playing
- Always be sure your parents know where you are.
- Never accept anything from strangers without your parents’ permission.
- Be careful if a grown-up asks for directions. Keep a safe distance away.
- Say NO if a friend or grown-up asks you to do something you don’t think is right.
- If something feels bad or scary, get away and tell someone you trust.
- Look both ways before crossing the street, and remember, walk, don’t run.
- Use crosswalks whenever possible.
- Obey traffic signs, lights and crossing guards.
- Never play in empty buildings or isolated areas.
- Never play near parked cars.
- When your life is in danger, do what it takes to get away.