Most of us let our kids run around with their friends at sports’ venues. There are usually packs of kids playing on empty fields or playgrounds. Parents feel these are safe spaces and assume many of the adults are there looking out for children. However, a seven-year-old’s death a football game is a reminder that parents need to keep an eye on their children and teach child safety tips to their kids.
The girl’s body was found near a football field after a Pee Week football game. Kentucky State Police say Gabriella Doolan was with her mother before they were separated. The mother’s first instinct was to ask for the girl to be called over the intercom. After multiple attempts to call the girl did not work, the game was shut down and everyone started looking for the girl. Her mother called police to report her missing and less than an hour later the little girl’s body was found. Police are treating it as a homicide.
Parents, this is a reminder to keep an eye on your children. No, we can’t always be watching our kids and they do need to learn independence. Here are some tips to help keep your kids safe in a public space:
- If they are going to be running around make sure they are with other children.
- Have them check in with you every 10 -15 minutes.
- Let them carry a cell phone.
- Establish a meeting place. Many times a parent is watching one child play ball while another child plays with their friends. Make sure one parent is always in a predetermined spot.
- Teach your children to stay in well lit areas and places where there are lots of people.
- Remind your child never go in a parking lot or dark area.
- If your child is taken teach them to scream and fight back. Teach them to yell, “Help, I’m being kidnapped!” or “This isn’t my mom!” Something to let responsible adults know that something is wrong.
Ultimately, we can’t protect our children 24/7, but we can teach them to be aware of their surroundings and we can help them learn to be safe.