Summertime Child Safety Tips from the Sheriff

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RENO, NV - More than sunburns and cuts, summer poses a greater risk for kids. Washoe County Sheriff Michael Haley says parents need to be extra cautious about their child's safety as the temperatures rise.

"Summer is probably more dangerous only because kids are out and about," he said "Less of their time is managed in school. It's warm, kids are outside and so we find they're more vulnerable during those times."

With school out child predictors know where kids like to play, and they look for children who are alone or are in smaller groups. That is why Sheriff Haley, along with Alert ID, is sending out safety warning to remind parents there are tools out there to help teach kids about safety.

Along with crime alerts, Alert ID connects parents easily to their circle of friends, and can allow them to quickly reach out to their child.

Just make sure if you already have Alert ID, that you update the information with the latest picture of your child and anything else that may have changed.

But Sheriff Haley says child safety also comes down to parent responsibility. Parents should point out unsafe places to play and discourage kids from taking shortcuts or playing near dangerous intersections. If they are approached or grabbed by a stranger, make sure kids know it's okay to scream and make lots of noise.

Another danger in the summer is getting lost in a crowd. As we head into event season in northern Nevada, Sheriff Haley says children often get lost in the crowds.

"Parents need to be very vigilant about where their kids are," he said. "They need to talk to them in advance to going to an event about what happens if they get separated. A lot of kids have cell phones now, but how to use those quickly and when you get separated who should you go to."

If you want to give kids a little bit of freedom while at an event, make sure you have a designated area and time to meet. Sheriff Haley also says parents should point out event volunteers so children know those are safe people to go to if they get lost.

Also you should dress your children in brightly colored clothing so you can spot them easily and they are more recognizable to police and volunteers searching for them.

It's also important to snap a photo of your kid when you get to the event or while your on vacation. Not only will you have the family memory, but you'll also have all the information like clothing color that can be difficult to remember if you're child is lost and you are panicking.

"If you're at an event and your child is missing, as an adult you have to remember what they were wearing, how old are they now and all these things you have to conjure up when you're just overwrought and excited," Sheriff Haley said. "It's easier to just pull out your cell phone and and show officers the most recent picture of your child and all the details about your child."

For more safety tips, click the link to the right.