Creating A Safety Word

Thursday, November 1st 2007, 9:00 pm
By: News On 6

Child molesters and abductors use many tricks and lures to get children to go somewhere with them, including saying ‘Your mom has been in an accident, I was sent to get you and take you to her.’ For some children this would not raise a red flag, to ensure your child does not fall for this lure create a safety or code word.

How do you choose a code word?

A safety or code word is a predetermined word that should be easy for your child to remember, but would be hard for someone to guess. A few examples include the names of animals like elephant, crocodile, gorilla or giraffe. But when choosing a word don’t get too generic, try being more specific like purple elephant, and never choose a code word that is common to your family or household. An experienced pedophile could be watching, listening to you and your family, so a common word like your pet’s name could be something they can easily learn.

Who should know your code word?

Other than the child and their parents, only one or two very close, trusted relatives or family friends should know your child’s safety word.

How do you use the safety word?

If you cannot pick up your child and there is no way you can contact him or her you should send someone who knows the safety word to pick up the child. Teach your children that if someone tries to pick them up, like at school, they have to know the safety word, so they should always ask ‘What’s the code word?’ to anyone besides their parents who is trying to get them to go somewhere else.

When do you change the code word?

The code word should be changed after an emergency where it had to be used. Make sure your children know to not respond to the old word, and to only go with someone who has the new code word.

The most important thing to remember when choosing a safety word is to keep it fun. Keeping it fun keeps your children calm and safe.