Kinston police advise parents to have safety talks with kids

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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - Students across the east are back in class and that means families are busy finding a rhythm for this new school year.

A local police department wants to make sure families are also taking the time to have important safety talks with their kids.

It was only the second day of class at Northwest Elementary School Tuesday, but teachers already seemed to have that after-school routine down.

Kinston police officers say simple conversations with your little ones now can help keep them safe all school year.

Police say it's important to teach your children that it is ok to say no to an adult.

Many children are taught to respect adults, so saying no is sometimes difficult for a child to do if they are in an uncomfortable situation.

Parents should explain that if something doesn't feel right, the child should immediately get away from the situation and look for someone they know.

"Teach them that if they have a gut instinct about something to go with that," explains Woody Spencer with the police department. "There isn't anything scientific about that, but most people know what a gut instinct is and they should go with that."

Kinston police say parents should teach their children the difference between good strangers and bad ones.

For example, good strangers are firefighters, police officers and other officials whose job is to help people.

Kinston police say children should try to always try to stick with a friend or a group of people and that way they are never walking home or waiting for the bus alone.