It’s the notice no parent wants to receive. Local authorities have written you to inform you that a registered sex offender has moved into the neighborhood. Or worse, your area doesn’t mandate a notice and you discovered this information through a local news report or a sex offender website. Discovering a predator lives near your home is disturbing news for parents. Use some guidelines for protecting children from registered sex offenders. Be diligent and take the precautions necessary to keep your children safe.
Get a Picture
Some states don’t include pictures in their predator notices. However most states do have a website you can visit with complete bios, crimes committed and current photos. You will need to also be familiar with the address the sex offender is living in. Don’t guess which house it is, use a free mapping service, like MapQuest to show you where the predator’s home is. Avoid the area if at all possible and most certainly keep your children from playing near there.
Talk to your nanny and babysitter about the sex offender. Show them where the predator lives and let them look at his picture. Give them any instructions you have to keep your children safe while you are gone. If you have children over seven, it’s okay to talk to them specifically about sex offenders and what they do. Don’t give explicit details but explain to them that this bad person likes to touch children in their private areas. If he asks why just say that he’ll understand more when he’s older. Children under seven may be frightened by hearing such details but you should explain to them that there are bad people in the world that don’t like children. Use your own judgment about how much to share with kids about predators and when. Talk to your child’s school about the local sex offender. Give them copies of any pictures you have and make them aware of this local threat.
Give your child a whistle to wear when they go outside. Make it a rule that they wear their whistle whenever they are in the yard. Explain to them when they should use the whistle. For example to signal a stranger approaches or they are being threatened. Establish with your children where they can play and what their curfew time.
Receiving a pedophile notice is a good reason to join a neighborhood watch. Stay safe by staying informed. Get involved in what happens in your neighborhood. Report any suspicious behavior to your neighborhood watch and the local authorities.