Know More: Having a 'safety talk' with your children

By: Taylor Temby Email
By: Taylor Temby Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Wednesday marks the sixth day in the search for the missing 10-year old girl from Westminster, Colorado. Jessica Ridgeway was on her way to school when she went missing. Know More about what local law enforcement is saying about talking to kids about safety.

Whether it's walking to school or going trick-or-treating, sometimes kids aren't supervised, and that's why authorities say talking to them about strangers and other danger is so important.

From eye color to mannerisms, some things are passed on from generation to generation. For grandfather Gary Trager, that's exactly how safety runs in the family.

"[From] birth all of the way up. It's part of the process of learning," Trager said about safety. "You teach your children, who will teach their children, who will pass it on."

When it comes to safety with his grandchildren, there's always adult supervision. If a stranger approaches, the kids are taught it’s always best to make a scene and draw attention.

"The kids need more guidance. They need more care. So whenever we go places or do things, we always hold hands," Trager said.

But regardless of what situation the child is in, however, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office says communication has to happen when it comes to keeping kids safe.

"When they should start talking is really up to the parent and up to what they're allowing their children to do," Sergeant Matt Lewis with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said. "Teach them what to do. Run away, talk to an adult, look for either a police car, a sheriff's office car."

For some parents, the safety talk could be about the ride to and from school.

"My kids already know. They don't get a ride from anybody because I tell them in the morning when I drop them off," mother of five Stephony Geyler said.

For others, the talk can center around how to act when a stranger approaches.

"If they see a stranger, turn around and run, find an adult that they know, find a police officer," mother of three Victoria Latorre said.

"You have to know your surroundings; you have to watch who you talk to, when you talk to them, and how you talk to them," added mother of four Lois Bright.

You don't have to keep your children safe without the help of the community. Local authorities say it may be worth enlisting in neighbor's help to keep an eye out when you can't.

"Solicit other people's help to watch your children as they walk down the same route every day," Lewis said.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office says a lot of kids have cell phones today, and it may be worth asking them to text parents when they get to their destination.


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