One of the most important tasks of any HOA is to do everything it can to keep the community safe—not just for grown-ups, but for kids as well. Sadly, the reality of our world is that no neighborhood will ever be totally safe or 100 percent impervious to crime. As such, it is useful for the HOA to educate parents on how to keep their kids out of harm’s way. We’ve listed a few tips neighborhood safety tips, which are offered according to the safety guidelines of the National Crime Prevention Council.
- As obvious as it may sound, the single best way to keep your kids out of harm’s way is to simply make sure you know where they are, at all times. Ask them to tell you whose house they are going to, or where they are going with their neighborhood friends, and also to give some indication as to when they’ll be home.
- Make sure your kids know the best ways to reach you—including not just the home phone, but the work and call numbers of parents, guardians, and older siblings. If your kids can’t quite get these numbers memorized, write them on a card and send it with them.
- Set limits, as you deem appropriate. Are there busy roads in or near your neighborhood that you’d rather your kids not cross? Do you prefer them to stay out of the pool area when you’re not with them? Make sure these boundaries are clearly communicated.
- Know who your kids’ neighborhood friends are. Invite them to play at your house, and make sure you are comfortable with them, before they go off somewhere in the neighborhood, with your kids in tow. If possible, get to know their parents, as well.
- Make sure you know your neighbors and their kids, and that you’re all working together to stay alert as to any suspicious activity in the community.
By following these basics, parents can do much to keep their kids safe from trouble.