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Videos for Preschoolers About Safety

Family Safety Expert Advice from Gavin de Becker

Q: I was wondering where I might find videos geared toward preschoolers on subjects like stranger danger, good touch/bad touch, or my body is my own. If you could help me, it would be greatly appreciated.

A: Considering the number of books and pamphlets about safety that are addressed to children, it's clear some people believe that children themselves have a lot to contribute to their own protection. There's even one that claims it will teach them to ''take responsibility for their own safety.'' Given that most kids can't take responsibility to feed the goldfish, I just don't see it.

Having said this, there does come a day when the people initially responsible for a child's safety welcome a new member to the team: the child. Parents may agonize over whether he or she is ready; they may even delay the day as long as possible, but the day will come. Though it's at the end of a gradual process, your son or daughter will make that walk to school, or to a friend's house, or to the market. The eyes that used to casually take in the sights will have to detect, assess, perhaps even deter danger.

Though no video can replace effective parental protection (of course), I've reviewed many programs aimed at kids. I was most impressed with a series called ''Yello Dyno.'' It is a musically-based educational system that helps children remember important safety information. Yello Dyno himself is a character who sings and dances, and helps encourage confidence in kids. You can see the selection of video and audio tapes at www.yellodyno.com. Let me know what you think. I also suggest taking a look www.childlures.com, run by Ken Wooden, among the nation's most effective advocates for child safety. Another training method to look at is KIDPOWER, which teaches children many important assertiveness and self-defense skills (www.fullpower.org).

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Gavin de Becker is widely regarded as the leading U.S. expert on the prediction and management of violence. His work has earned him three Presidential appointments and a position on a congressional committee. He is currently co-chair of the Domestic Violence Council Advisory Board, and a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy.


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