Below are some vital security tips compiled by the Lagos State Police Command and the State Security Service (SSS) under the aegis of the Lagos State Security Council for the benefit of your children and the general public. Most of the tips may seem overly familiar, but only because our parents took care to instil them in us time and time again. It would not hurt to pass on the care legacy.
- Teach children never to admit strangers into the home: This is very important, and sometimes may extend to ‘friends’ too. Sometimes strangers are let into your home because they are accompanied by somebody familiar. Once your home is penetrated, perpetuating crimes against your family becomes relatively easy. If you are going to leave your children at home alone at all, at least let there be a chaperone you trust to watch over them.
- Teach children local emergency phone numbers: For Lagos, the emergency numbers are 112 and 767. If that’s too difficult for them to grasp, you can teach them to dial 911. It would simply redirect to 767, and they would be connected to a police officer. I know, interesting fact right? A friend told me and I tried it today. It works indeed.
- Get to know all your teenager’s friends: There is a certain proverb my mother never tires of repeating. It’s said in Igbo, but it literally translates to “what an elder can see sitting down, a child cannot see even standing at the top of a mountain.” Over the years I have come to see that this proverb has proved to be true. Teenagers indeed believe that they know everything, even though life is being viewed through the rosy lens of ‘forever young’. It is your job therefore as a parent to guide them, gently and diplomatically.
- Caution teenagers about ‘blind dates’ or meeting anyone they do not know: Not so long ago there was in the news a story about a girl who was murdered in a hotel, while she went to meet up with a man she met via a popular social network. Teenagers all roll their eyes at this warning but what they do not realise is that this is a very real danger. It is even made worse by the fact that when they embark on this journey they are filled with the sense of adventure and heady with the thrill that they cannot think straight, and they keep the details of their whereabouts secret from their parents/guardians.
- Teach younger members of your family not to open mails or packages: Sometimes it might not even be a letter bomb. It could just be that the package contains sensitive information that might eventually bring harm to your family if it not handled appropriately.
- Teach young children how to answer the telephone so that they do not give out personal information: Children have access to phones in the house so that they can be easily reached by you, or can easily reach out to someone when they are in need of help, and this is beneficial. However, it is possible for them to misuse this helpful tool and turn it into a dangerous one, if they are giving out their home addresses and telling strangers about the absence of adults in the house.
- Teach children how to exit the house in the case of emergency: This is very important. They might be more inclined to hurdling themselves in a corner of the house, which might prove fatal if there was a fire or armed robbery involved. Leaving the house and seeking help might preserve their precious lives.
A word is enough for the wise.
Credit: Connect Nigeria