Sheriff Benny N. Napoleon and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office have partnered with Project ChildSafe, a nationwide program, to promote safe firearms handling and storage practices.
Here are child safety tips to use when discussing gun safety with children.
CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR BACK TO SCHOOL SAFETY TIPS
The safety of Wayne County citizens, especially our most vulnerable is a top priority of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO). It is for this purpose that Wayne County Sheriff Benny N. Napoleon is committed to sharing information with our community to ensure the safety of our children where they live, in their schools and in the community.
An important area where parents must be involved with their children is the use of the Internet. It is not uncommon for young children to fall prey to Internet predators who have the influence and the ability to lure children into situations and circumstances that are harmful. News reports have detailed instances where a child has been lured out of their home, across state lines, and even across international borders. The Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to minimizing the risks so that families will not suffer a similar fate. Therefore, parents and guardians need to be aware of the risks their children face online, and they need to discuss these risks with their children. Children should be taught that it is okay to say “no” – even to an adult. Parents and guardians should explain to their children that the child’s personal safety is more important than being polite, and that people on the Internet are not always who they seem.
Children should also know that there will always be someone who can help them and to tell a trusted adult if they are scared, uncomfortable, or confused. It’s easier for a child to understand a clear, calm, and reassuring message about situations and actions than a particular profile or image of a “stranger.” These rules apply to older children as well, as they are also at risk of abduction and online victimization.
The Sheriff’s Office also understands that most gunshot injuries happen after kids discover loaded guns at home. In the United States, there is great debate over gun control. No one seems to agree on who should be allowed to own guns and under what conditions. But experts on all sides believe that keeping a gun in the house is a serious decision, and the gun must be kept locked up where kids can't get to it. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that the best way to prevent gun-related injuries and deaths is to remove guns from homes. However, the decision to own a gun is up to each family. Yours may have decided to keep guns in the house. Your dad may hunt, for example, or your mom may be a police officer or work in another profession where guns are required. Some families use guns for protection. But any gun can be dangerous if a kid tries to play with it.
Therefore, considering the risk factors inherently existent with keeping a gun at home the WCSO provides free gun locks for parents at special fairs and events and they can also be picked up at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Napoleon is committed to distributing safety whistles at various community events in hopes that every Wayne County citizen can alert others when they are in trouble. Sound is the number one factor in deterring crime and finding lost victims. When you are injured, cold, lost and tired, shouting can leave you hoarse and exhausted in a matter of minutes. However, if you can breathe you can easily blow. This is extremely important, because if you can be heard, you can be rescued.
Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office provides The Dose of Reality Tour (DORT), a program that offers young adults a harsh glimpse into the consequences of a life of crime that may have come in contact with law enforcement or are considered at-risk. Currently, DORT is undergoing a reconstruction, however DORT has been extremely successful as past participants were able to communicate with inmates, victims of crimes and advocacy groups that encouraged and provided thought provoking messages.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Tips for Parents from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
- Make sure you know where each of your children is at all times.
- Never leave children unattended in an automobile, whether it is running or not.
- Be involved in your children's activities.
- Listen to your children.
- Notice when someone shows one or all of your children a great deal of attention or begins giving them gifts.
- Teach your children that they have the right to say NO to any unwelcome, uncomfortable or confusing touch or actions by others.
- Be sensitive to any changes in your children's behavior or attitude.
- Be sure to screen babysitters and caregivers.
- Practice basic safety skills with your children.
- Remember that there is no substitute for your attention and supervision.
For a more thorough list, visit www.missingkids.com.