Children’s Safety

The World Wide Web can provide an effective means of communicating, can be a useful educational tool or a convenient access to shopping. Most of the time, it is a helpful device and most Internet users behave in a responsible manner. However, not all people and not all information on the Internet are reliable or even safe. The following ideas will help you protect your children from the potential hazards:

  • It is easier to monitor the use of a computer if you keep it in an open, frequently used room like the family room or kitchen, rather than a more private or secluded area like a child’s bedroom.
  • Decide how much time your child should spend on the Internet and/or playing computer games, just as you would set limits on TV viewing. Make sure that surfing the Net doesn’t take the place of social interaction, homework or other important activities.
  • View appropriate sites with your child and make a list of or "bookmark" those family oriented or educational sites where he is allowed to go. Sit down with your child from time to time and let him show you what he’s learned and where he goes.
  • Make use of the parental control features that are offered by some online services and/or buy blocking software. However, don’t rely entirely on these. Nothing takes the place of parental awareness and it is very easy to fall or be led into inappropriate or even pornographic sites.
  • Teach your children that they should never give out any personal information (including such things as the name or location of their school, their phone number or address, their friends’ names, etc.), never agree to meet anyone they’ve been "chatting" with and never respond to messages that are mean or confusing or make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Not all offensive material on the Internet is illegal but child pornography is illegal. If you or anyone in your household receives any, immediately contact your local law enforcement.
  • Ask about the computer use policy in place at your child’s school. Be sure your child understands it and that it meets your own standards.
  • Periodically review your family computer rules and discuss issues such as privacy, trust, pornography, chat rooms, etc. Open, honest communication about the dangers of the Internet and how to handle them will help your child make positive decisions if he’s ever faced with sexually explicit or violent or other inappropriate material.

Resources for more information include:

F.B.I. Office of Crimes Against Children
935 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20535

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

U.S. Department of Education

National Parent Teacher Association

If you have any questions about this information, or other safety or security concerns, call Crime Prevention, Edina Police Department, 952-826-1610.

Download these Internet Safety tips.

The following list of selected Edina ordinances and Minnesota State Statutes is provided to aid parents and others who work with youth in our community.

Following are the categorized ages and curfew times for juveniles, as adopted by the Edina City Council at its meeting Sept. 17, 2002. It is unlawful for a juvenile to be in any public place or establishment, according to age, after the hours listed unless:

1. accompanied by a parent or legal guardian
2. involved in an emergency
3. involved in an official school, religious or other activity sponsored and/or supervised by a civic organization
4. involved in lawful employment
5. on an errand at the direction of the parent or guardian
AGE SUN–THURS FRI–SAT Under 12 9 p.m. 10 p.m. 12–14 10 p.m. 11 p.m. 15–17 11 p.m. Midnight

School Conduct
No one in any school or on grounds adjacent to the school shall disturb the peace and order of such school. No one shall loiter on school grounds or in any school structure. It is unlawful to introduce into any school building or property any firearm, pellet gun, BB gun or replica firearm without permission of the person in charge of the school. State statutes prohibit the possession of or storage of any dangerous weapon on school property.

It is unlawful to threaten, directly or indirectly, to commit a crime of violence in order to terrorize another or to cause evacuation of a building.

Open House Parties
No one having control of any residence or premises shall allow an open house party to take place if any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance is possessed or consumed at the party by a minor.

It is unlawful for anyone under 21 years to consume, purchase, possess or attempt to purchase any alcoholic beverage.

It is unlawful to sell or furnish tobacco or tobacco-related devices to a person under 18 years. It is unlawful for anyone under 18 to possess, use, purchase or attempt to purchase tobacco or tobacco-related devices.

Other Substances
No person shall possess, sell or exchange any controlled substance, except as authorized by law. No person shall inhale or drink any substance commonly known as lacquer, cement, adhesive, glue, nail polish remover, thinner or similar substances that release toxic vapors for the purpose of intoxication.

If you have any questions about this information, or other safety or security concerns, call Crime Prevention, Edina Police Department, 952-826-1610.

Children can begin to learn how to protect themselves as soon as they are able to articulate a sentence. Teach them the following safety measures to help them guard against exploitation and abduction.

  • Teach your child his or her full name, birth date, street address, city, telephone number and your full name(s).
  • When you go to a public place, point out to your child what you are wearing (ex. red plaid shirt, black pants, etc.) and note what your child is wearing. Teach him or her to go to a cashier or sales clerk or someone wearing a name tag if you become separated. Ask that person for help, don’t wander around looking for each other.
  • Tell your child to always check with you before going to a neighbor’s house or before going anywhere with anyone.
  • Use the buddy system -- there’s safety in numbers.
  • Teach your child to stay away from anyone following in a car or on foot. Don’t go near the car and don’t answer questions or agree to assist in any way. Adults should ask other adults, not children, for directions or assistance.
  • Talk to your child about secrets; no adult should ask a child to keep a secret that makes him or her feel uncomfortable. Discuss the difference between fun secrets (birthday gifts, etc.) and “other” secrets.
  • Teach your child that no one should touch him or her in the areas covered by a bathing suit, nor should he or she touch anyone in those areas.
  • If your child is in a situation where he or she feels endangered, or there is an emergency, be sure he or she knows how to call 9-1-1. It is a free call from any pay phone.

For more information, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or Crime Prevention, Edina Police Department, 952-826-1610.

Research has shown that children with a healthy sense of self are less vulnerable to abuse and abduction. Read these suggestions to enhance the ability of your child to protect him- or herself.

BUILD SUPPORT SYSTEMS—Both for you and your child. Children benefit from having positive role models and other trusted adults to whom they can turn for help or advice.

TALK WITH YOUR CHILD—Encourage open communication on all topics and listen between the lines to discover his concerns or fears. Be aware of the normal fluctuations and behaviors for the stages of development. Replace fear with knowledge and support.

TEACH DECISION MAKING—Children of all ages can make decisions. Walk them through the process and include a discussion of consequences. Teach them to trust their own feelings and assure them they can say “no” to something they feel is wrong and that you will support them.

BUILD SELF-ESTEEM—A child who doesn’t value himself or herself has a harder time resisting pressure and taking care of himself or herself. Help him or her discover personal assets and strong points and build on success. Reinforce the positive and discipline carefully, focusing on the behavior, not the child.

USE ROLE PLAYING—Rehearse different scenarios at a shopping mall, the park, on the Internet, answering the phone, etc. Teach your child how to react in safe ways and where and how to get help. Practice these at different stages as your child grows.

BE ALERT—Watch for subtle changes in behavior, especially withdrawal, acting out or changes in sleeping or eating patterns. Remember that most child abuse is committed by someone who is known to the child.

LET KIDS BE KIDS—Teach your children what they need to know at age-appropriate levels and let them know you will always do your best to protect them, but don’t scare the fun out of childhood.
For more information on personal safety, contact Edina Crime Prevention, 952-826-1610, the Jacob Wetterling Foundation, 1-800-325-HOPE, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 1-800-THE-LOST.