Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island - Canada
As a parent or legal guardian you want your child to be happy and carefree. You also want to keep your child safe from injury or harm.
Head injuries are the leading causes of serious injury and death in children on wheels (bicycles, tricycles, scooters, skateboards, roller blades, etc.). Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by 85%.
Injuries are often not accidents and can be prevented by using adequate safety measures during transportation, play and other everyday activities. These measures, besides teaching your child to use appropriate caution, should also include recommended safety gear. In Canada, some of the safety measures are not only recommended, but also required by law. For example, it is the law in Prince Edward Island that children traveling in vehicles are safely secured in a car seat or booster seat that is appropriate for their age, weight and height.
There are many helpful resources with detailed information that can help you keep your child injury-free through all developmental stages, from infant to adolescent. [See Related Resources]
Many of these safety resources have information on:
- car and booster seats safety and laws
- Internet and cell phone safety
- home safety products
- toys and playground safety
- drowning, poisoning, scald and burn prevention
Kids Help Phone (organization helping children in abusive situations) runs an excellent website with lots of information on bullying and other topics involving children's safety. The website is geared towards children and teenagers.
Encourage your child to visit this website to help them be prepared in case they find themselves in unsafe situations.
[See Related Resources]
Bullying is when someone does or says something to hurt someone else. It is always on purpose. Bullies can work on their own or in packs. Either way, bullying is about making someone feel small and powerless. No one asks to be bullied, and no one deserves it. [Source: Kids Help Phone]
Unfortunately, bullying is quite common among children of all ages, particularly adolescents. If a child is being bullied, it can affect his or her health, performance in school and overall life.
If you suspect your child is a victim of bullying, or being a bully, you can ask the school or the ISS workers at the PEI ANC for help.
Protection from Abuse
PEI has a relatively low crime rate, but there are some things parents and legal guardians should know to be able to protect their children from potential harm or abuse. Parents should know:
It is important that your children feel they can trust you and talk to you about anything. They need to know that they will not be punished for telling you that something bad has happened.
- where their children are at all times
- who their children’s friends are
- their neighbourhood and surrounding area
Parents should also teach their children things to keep them safe from harm, without making them fearful about going out into the world. Children should know:
- their own first and last names, their parents' or guardians' first and last names, the family residence address and telephone number
- where to go in an emergency
- stranger danger -- never to talk to strangers, never ever to get into a stranger's car and never to accept candy or other gifts from strangers, even if the stranger says he knows their parents
- to always play in a safe place
- to walk in groups, whenever possible
- to always tell you where they will be
- about Internet safety
- about their private body parts, their proper names and what is not appropriate touching
In PEI it is law that you must report to Child Protection Services when you have knowledge or reasonable grounds to suspect that children are in situations where there is abuse and/or neglect. Children have the right to be protected and that is the responsibility of every adult.
[See Related Resources]
For many parents, the child abuse they fear the most is that of a stranger. Ironically, most abductions and abuse of children is by people that they know and trust.
Amber Alert is a joint project of the various police services in PEI and the media. It is a voluntary, cooperative program that sends an emergency alert to the public if a child has been abducted and it is believed that his or her life is in grave danger.
Child Find PEI assists in the location and recovery of missing children and helps reunite them with their lawful parents or guardians. They educate the public on ways to prevent abduction and provide assistance and support to families affected by the trauma of a missing child. They also refer parents to various professional services and advocate for the rights of children.