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Children Safety Conversations Should Be Ongoing

DENVER (CBS4) - The disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway is a reminder for every parent to talk to their children about staying safe.

Whether it's going trick-or-treating, walking to a friend's house, or walking to school, parents should have an ongoing conversation with their children about safety.

Denver Police Cmdr. Ron Saunier says when it comes to a child's safety, stranger danger is not enough. He says the key is teaching a child to be aware of their surroundings without making them afraid of their surroundings.

The following is advice from Saunier:

-- Children should not walk with their heads down. In other words, no texting while walking. They should be aware of their surroundings at all times.

-- They should not walk with headphones on, but if you can't prevent them from doing that they should not play their iPods so loud they can't hear what's going on around them.

-- They are safest walking in groups, and they should always get permission before they change their plans.

-- Avoid walking in unknown areas or down alleys.

Saunier says safety conversations should start as early as kindergarten, and if they are approached, they should make a lot of noise by yelling things like "help" or "stop!"

Don't overplay "stranger danger," meaning a stranger could be someone they may not know well and can look like anyone, and a stranger may even know their name.

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