Community Magazine

Take 25

By Jean Campbell

Take 25 is a preventive child safety campaign created by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

A picture of the Take 25 logo containing the words take 25 and a clock showing 25 minutesTake 25 encourages parents, educators and others involved in caring for children to take 25 minutes to speak with their child(ren) about safety. The Take 25 website, is a site you will want to visit. It is filled not only with what to say and share with children, but how to say it so as not frighten children in the process.

Take 25′s focus is on prevention. Their site provides free safety resources including safety tips, conversation starters, and engaging activities. A key feature on the site is the page, “25 ways to make kids safer,” with categories that include:

  • Home safety
  • Internet safety
  • Going to and from school
  • Being out of the house on their own

The discussion guidelines page advises adults to be prepared for a safety discussion by knowing the safety materials, considering what to share and how to share it, given a child’s age and having visuals that will help the child understand what is being explained to him or her.

Take 25 content suggests making the most of everyday opportunities to speak about personal safety rather than waiting for the “right time” such as a family meal or a ride in the car or a walk. Take 25 literature stresses that any discussion needs to include encouraging your children to talk openly and ask questions.

Guidelines on Take 25 reinforce talking not lecturing children on safety.

Safe behaviors can be shared in ways that are not frightening to young children. The way that adults share safety information can help children develop the confidence to believe that they will know what to do, or who to turn to in an unsafe situation.

Take 25 gives parents the means to feel more comfortable when their children are out on their own.

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