Listen - really listen - to what your child tells you about friends, the neighborhood, worries, and fears. Thoughtful listening builds communication and trust, which are keys to helping your kids grow up safe.
Talk with your kids about drugs, violence and other problems. Make your family values clear and be a good example.
Make sure you know your child's friends and the friend's parents.
Before your children go to another home, ask the adults there whether they have guns or alcohol and if so whether these are securely and safely stored.
Check out the neighborhood with your child. Find out where he or she feels safe and unsafe. Work with neighbors to address problems such as unsafe shortcuts, dangerous intersections, areas where shrubbery needs trimming back, and lack of safe places to seek help.
Set up clear rules for play after school, on weekends, and during time off in the summer or at holidays. Help your child review them regularly.
Urge kids to play in groups, which are far less susceptible to an approach by strangers.
Be a helping adult. Let kids know that they can tell you anything and that you will listen caringly. Mentor a child who needs adult support.