Cautious, not fearful

Published 9:29 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Today is the first day of the new school year for students attending Troup County Schools, and many local parents can now breathe a sigh of relief that their children are back in a location where they can learn and grow in a safe space.

Considering reports from this past weekend of a possible attempted kidnapping, many are especially relieved that their children will now have access to secure playgrounds as well. 

The safety of our children is something that rarely leaves the minds of most parents, and we encourage parents to take basic precautions to protect their children, while still allowing them to be kids and have fun.

The National Crime Prevention Council recommends common sense measures like knowing where your children are at all times, having older children ask permission before leaving and establishing a time to check in or return home. 

Also, it recommends that parents set limits on where children can go, and let them know what areas you think are unsafe because of traffic or any other reason. 

Additionally, parents are encouraged to work together with neighbors to watch for suspicious behavior and to watch out for each other. This tip can prove important whether a child falls off a bike and skins a knee or in far more dire circumstances. 

You want the neighbor who sees what happened to not only pay attention, but to call you and let you know what is going on. 

They can’t do that if they don’t know you though, so remember that a little “hello” goes a long way. 

Other parents and other adults without children will probably appreciate knowing that someone is looking out for them the next time they need a helping hand in an emergency or just someone to let them know that someone strange is lurking nearby.

With all of that said, we would like to encourage parents to not let vigilance become fear. It’s a tough line to draw as a parent, one that likely teeters from situation to situation.

Take precautions, but also give your children — especially older children — the opportunity to take measured risks, like riding their bike to a friend’s house. 

Caution is important, but so is the ability to learn and grow with friends.