1. Be calm and reassuring
Children should learn to be cautious, alert, and prepared - not fearful. Never share frightening stories in trying to protect your child, give them examples of how they can stay safer.
2. Give permission to say “No” and tell
Explain that there are different kinds of secrets, “okay” secrets and “tell” secrets. Let them know that even if they kept a secret before, that they are not bound to keep it if they later decide that they do need to share it.
3. Help children identify trusted strangers
Talk openly about whom a child can go to in an emergency. Cite specific examples of safe people they can speak to even if they don't know them such as the person using a cash register at the mall, a mother with children, or a teacher.
4. Set body boundaries
Teach children to guard themselves by setting body boundaries. Tell them that their private parts are the parts covered by a bathing suit and it is okay to say "NO" to anyone touching those areas even if it is someone considered a friend.
5. Teach children to check with others first
Teach children to check with trusted adults before changing plans or going anywhere.
6. Teach children to ask adults to write cell phone numbers on their arm
If a child does happen to get separated from an adult who is watching them, they will always know where to find the number they can call if they need help or get lost. Writing the number on the upper part of their arm will help avoid it getting washed off in the bathroom.
7. Teach children telephone and door answering skills
Teach them your cell phone number and how to dial “911” for help. Have these numbers written in areas of the house that the children can reach if they do forget. Remind them not to open the door when an adult is not home and to never tell anyone that they are home alone.
8. Teach children internet safety
All cell phones are computers and children are more comfortable with technology than most of their parents. As a result children have access to much more information than most adults realize. Even if you have parent locks in place, there is no guarantee that every child has he same safety settings. Teach children about internet safety very early. Try to talk to them long before you think they are using chat rooms, online video gaming or sharing pictures online.
9. Teach children about digital evidence
Cyber bullying and sexting is more common than ever, and often leaves the victims feeling isolated. It also leaves a lasting digital trail that can easily be shared with other people. Children need to know about the permanent and sharable nature of digital information.
10. Role-play with children
Just as children don’t learn to ride a bicycle by talking about it, they don’t learn safety skills without practice. Children learn by doing. They need to role-play and think about how they might handle difficult situations.