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Keeping our kids safe

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Adath Jeshurun will host a safety camp on Aug. 18

By SIVYA LEVENTHAL

We want the best for our children and want to keep them safe. However, we can’t wrap them in bubble wrap and keep the Internet unplugged, nor be with them 24/7. Since we can’t, what we do need to do is give ourselves and our children tools to help them recognize dangerous situations, and how to respond and when to get adult help.

For example, we may tell our children not to talk to strangers, and they all know what that means. But we need to expand the rules because not every stranger that could harm them looks “strange.” Many are well dressed and might even be someone they have met or seen before.

So instead of teaching our children not to talk to strangers, we should be teaching them about what “strange” behaviors to look out for. Children should also be aware of odd behaviors or personal questions they may receive from people they meet online, even if they believe it is another child on the other end of the conversation.

Even when it comes to safety on the sports field or while riding a bike, we need to remind our children to obey traffic signals, and to remain on the sidewalk or grass until it is safe to cross or to board their school bus.

To help equip parents with important information and valuable tools, Adath Jeshurun Congregation will hold a Safety Camp for fourth to eighth graders — an age group that really wants to be independent — and their parents 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18 at the synagogue, 10500 Hillside Ln. W., Minnetonka.

The students will be guided through stations and presentations from a wide variety of public safety agencies, including law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services. Parents who stay to attend will receive free CPR training, Krav Maga instruction, and discussions on Internet safety and how to protect children from predators and sex offenders.

The program is open to nonmembers of Adath. The cost is $15 per person and includes lunch. For information, e-mail: sivyal@adath.net or call 952-215-3910, or visit: adathjeshurun.org/safetycamp.

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Sivya Leventhal is the youth activities director at Adath Jeshurun Congregation.

(American Jewish World, 7.19.13)

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