Streetproofing: Keep Your Child Safe

Building a Strong Relationship With Your Children

Provide children with clear guidelines to help keep them safe. It is important that children feel safe in their community – educate them on safety without scaring them.

Keep Your Child Safe

Talk to your children daily about what’s going on in their lives (for example, school, friends). This will strengthen your relationship. Explain that they should not keep secrets from you.

Teach Your Children:

  • Their full name, address, area code and phone number, and your proper names

  • How to reach you or someone else they can call or go to for help any time, (e.g., a trusted neighbour). Make a list of all important phone numbers, including police, re, poison control center, your work and cell phone numbers, and the names and numbers of who they can call for help. Post this list near all your phones

  • How to make a 9-1-1 emergency phone call from home, cell and public phones

  • How to escape, in case of re or other emergencies, and how to work the door and window locks

  • To stay away from wooded areas, shrubbery, abandoned buildings, poorly lit areas, laneways, vacant lots, creeks and rivers. Take a walking tour of your neighbourhood. Know the route your child takes to school, to friends’ houses, etc. Make sure your child knows NOT to take shortcuts through alleys and parking lots. Remember it is always safer to walk with a buddy

  • Never to go into a public washroom by themselves – a responsible caregiver should always accompany children

  • How to use the bus/subway when they are ready. Do public transit training that includes where the bus stop is, the right bus to take, and how to read the direction signs in the subway

  • No one, not even someone they know, has the right to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. Let them know that they have the right to say “NO” to any touch that makes them feel uncomfortable or in any situation where they are feeling threatened or in danger. Let them know that regardless of what happens in these type of circumstances it is important to tell a trusted adult. This is especially true of circumstances where  they were told not to tell anyone

  • Who a safe stranger is if they get lost or need help. Safe strangers include store clerks, Police Officers and mothers with children.


Always know where your children are, who they are with, when they are coming back, and what they are doing at all times. It’s your job to keep them safe.

Be sensitive to changes in your child’s mood and behaviour. Any of these may indicate that your child has a problem or is worrying about something.

Tell Your Children:

  • To never accept anything from anyone unless they have permission from a parent or the person looking after them.

  • Not to open the doors for anyone unless a parent is aware of the visit

  • When they are allowed to answer the phone (e.g., if the call display shows it is a parent, sibling, grandparent or neighbour) and what they should say

  • To check in regularly with a parent or caregiver when they are not at home. If they want to change their a er-school plans, or go from one place to another (e.g., from one friend’s house to someone else’s house), they are to call you rst. Make sure your children understand to check in with you when they arrive at their destination

  • That you always need to know where they’re going, including the address and phone number

  • NEVER get into anyone’s car or go anywhere with anyone – even with someone they know, unless a parent or caregiver has given permission

  • To check in with you or the caregiver when they get home. Establish rules for having friends over or going to someone else’s house. Wherever your children go, ask about supervision

  • Be sure that you know how to reach your children at any time

  • That if they are ever in a situation where they feel uncomfortable or unsafe, and want to be picked up right away, they can always call you, no matter what. Focus on the fact that they made the right choice by calling you, and that you hope if they are asked to go again, they will not go. Tell them that it’s okay to make an excuse for why they can’t go (e.g., they have to babysit younger siblings, there is a family gathering they must attend)

Your Child’s Safety Starts With You!

For more information about protecting your child, be sure to check out the following brochures:

  • Babysitting Safety

  • Bicycle Safety & The Prevention

  • Bullying

  • Human Trafficking Avoidance

  • Social Media Tips For Parents

  • Social Networking Safety

  • Transit Safety, and

  • Check-out the Kids’ Safety Zone on the Toronto Police website

Make sure that your children are aware that they can come to you no matter what and that you will listen. O en children think that if they have done something wrong, or if they have broken a rule, that they cannot go to a parent. Adults need to understand that children break rules and make mistakes – it’s part of the learning process.


To report a crime anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at: 1-800-222-8477(TIPS) or online at:

In An Emergency: Call 9-1-1.

To report a crime to the Toronto Police that is not an emergency call 416-808-2222.

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