Your parents and teachers go to a lot of effort to make your home and school safe. You can help them by taking this advice about being safe on your own. First, you can help them by avoiding strangers, both online and offline. Secondly, you can tell parents and teachers about bullying behavior, either if it's happening to someone you know or if it's happening to you. Lastly, you can keep yourself safe by saying "no" to drugs. These topics can be hard to talk about, but they're very important for you to know about. Read more to learn some important tips for staying safe outside of the classroom and home.
There are a lot of bad things that could happen around the playground, near school, or on the way home. If you see someone you don't recognize who's trying to talk to you outside of school while your parents aren't around, remember that you don't have to talk to them. They're a stranger, and if they are really a family friend or relative who you didn't recognize, they'll understand why you didn't talk to them. If they're trying to lead you somewhere, don't go, and tell someone! Tell a teacher or parent if you encounter an unusual adult on the way to or from school. Also, tell someone if you or a friend are being bullied by an adult or even another student (which we'll talk about in the next section). Don't forget to avoid strangers online, too. Online strangers can be even more dangerous; never tell an online stranger where you are, who you're with, or where you're going. Also, never try to meet an online stranger in person without talking to your parents first. Use your judgment, and if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, tell your parents about it and talk about why.
- Street Smartz (PDF)
- Do You Know How to Be Street Smart?
- Online Safety Tips
- Who Is a Stranger? (PDF)
- Stranger Safety Tips for Children (PDF)
A lot of adults are talking about bullying and cyberbullying today, but what is bullying? Bullying can mean different things to different people. It might include insulting someone, spreading rumors online, repeated texting, hitting, stealing someone's things, or making someone do something they don't want to do. It can happen to many kids in many different ways, but basically, bullying means being mean to someone over and over again. It leaves people feeling powerless and defenseless. There are many different ways to stop it. If you witness it, do not participate - tell a teacher, and reach out to help the victim (the person who's being hurt). If it's happening to you, remember that you don't deserve to be bullied, no matter what the bullies say. Talk to your parents and teachers about what to do, ignore your bullies (block them if they're online), and call the police if you're threatened.
- What is Bullying?
- Cyberbullying: What You Can Do
- Stop the Bully (Game)
- Together We Can Be Bully-Free (PDF)
- Take a Stand: What To Do If Someone's Being Bullied
- Tips If You're Being Bullied
Another thing to be careful of is drugs. Not all drugs are bad: Some drugs are used as medicine to heal people. However, if they are taken without a doctor's permission or in the wrong amount, drugs can be dangerous. Two of the most common drugs are alcohol and cigarettes. Because adults sometimes use them, they often seem cool to kids. But taking either of these drugs as a kid can damage your brain and cause real problems over time. Cigarettes are very addictive and cause lung cancer and many other bad illnesses. Alcohol is bad for many parts of the body: It might be alright in small portions for an adult, but it can be really bad for kids. Lastly, there are some drugs that won't be prescribed by a doctor and are almost always bad for people, regardless of their age. Some drugs like that include cocaine, heroin, or Ecstasy. Never, ever take a drug unless your doctor or your parent has said that it's OK. You may even be allergic to safe drugs like cough syrup, so it's always best to check with your mom or dad, just to be safe.
- What's Up With Alcohol (Game)
- Did You Know? Get the Facts About Smoking
- Too Much, Too Soon, Too Quickly
- Operation: Flame Out (Interactive)
- Straight Talk About Drugs
- Drug Facts: The Brain and Addiction
Find more about the author: Kim Hart