Tricounty News

Protect your children from child predators this July 4



For years, the Keenan's Kids Foundation has conducted an annual "4th of July Safety Project." Recently, we have been alerted to a number of child molestations that occur during this holiday. Therefore child molestation has been added to our annual list of dangers, which sadly, injure or kill children each year over the holiday weekend.

We were alerted to the child molesting danger occurring over the 4th of July holiday while interfacing with known child molesters who are trying to redeem themselves. They have told us that water is a magnet for child molesters.

They point out that children are often scantily dressed when around water, which is an attractive feature to a child molester. Worse yet, when the children are playing in water the child molester has close access to the children. Sometimes the child molester will simply be engaging in an act of voyeurism while others are plotting a quick touch, and at the extreme, an actual abduction.

Here are some helpful tips that will equip parents to prevent the ultimate danger:

Know that you, as parent, are the ultimate protector of the child. Do not rely on anyone else.

Be more attentive than a lifeguard; try always to have your child in sight or nominate another parent in your group to be the designated "watcher" while others engage in magazine reading or conversation.

When you arrive at the lake, pool or water park, immediately ascertain the authority figure (i.e. lifeguard, park superintendent, amusement park supervisor, etc.).

Go with your "gut." If you sense a danger, notify the authority figure immediately. Do not place yourself at danger by confronting the individual. Quickly notify the supervisor and demand immediate action.

Remember; there is no such thing as being too safe when your children's lives are at stake.

For more information about other 4th of July safety tips, covering topics such as fireworks, boating and jet ski safety and grilling safety, see the Keenan's Kids Foundation book, 365 Ways to Keep Kids Safe.

Don Keenan is the founder of the Keenan's Kids Foundation and author of 365 Ways to Keep Kids Safe, available at www.balloonpress.com" www.balloonpress.com, or at www.amazon.com. Proceeds benefit the Keenan's Kids Foundation, www.keenanskidsfoundation.com or www.myspace.com/365waystokeepkidssafe.