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The Safe Child Handbook: How to Protect Your Family and Cope with Anxiety in a Threat-Filled World

ISBN: 978-0-7879-8688-9
224 pages
September 2006, Jossey-Bass
The Safe Child Handbook: How to Protect Your Family and Cope with Anxiety in a Threat-Filled World (0787986887) cover image


The Safe Child Handbook is a practical guide for protecting your family in a way that reduces the stress that can so often sabotage such well-intentioned efforts. Step-by-step, the book shows how to prepare and protect your family from realistic threats and, at the same time, alleviate fearfulness and anxiety in you and your children.  The Safe Child Handbook outlines the top eight threats to children and parents—weather emergencies, kidnapping, terrorism, inappropriate media influence, drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse, school violence, and home safety—and shows how to be ready to face the most drastic situations with confidence. The Safe Child Handbook is filled with practical advice, activities for children, and techniques that will empower your whole family.
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Table of Contents


1. “Doing Too Much Is as Risky as Doing Too Little.”

Part One: Ensuring Your Child’s Safety.

2. Weather Emergencies: “What’s Going On with Mother Nature?”

3. Kidnapping: “Don’t Go Anywhere Without Me!”

4. Terrorism: “How Are We Supposed to Know What to Do?”

5. Inappropriate Media Influence: “Why Do They Keep Showing That Same Awful Scene?”

6. Drug and Alcohol Abuse: “Do You Want to Wind Up in the Gutter?”

7. Child Abuse: “Whom Can You Trust These Days?”

8. School Violence: “You Won’t Put My Son by the Windows, Will You?”

9. Making Your House Safe: “Where Are the Dangerous Places?”

Part Two: Ensuring Your Family’s Serenity.

10. How Can Your Children Cope with Their Fears?

11. How Can You Cope with Your Own and Your Family’s Fears?

Appendix: Lists of Internet Sites, by Type of Threat.

References and Further Reading.

About the Authors.


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Author Information

John S. Dacey, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist and has been a professor at Boston College for forty years. He has appeared on Today and National Public Radio and has been interviewed for numerous radio programs, magazines, and newspapers.

Lisa B. Fiore, Ph.D., is a professor of development and educational psychology at Lesley University. Her current research focuses on how teachers can assist anxious children in the classroom context.
Dacey and Fiore are the coauthors of the best-selling book Your Anxious Child from Jossey-Bass.

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"The National Partnership for Women and Families is committed to promoting an environment that is safe for our constituents, both physically and psychologically. This book has the same two goals, and I believe the authors have succeeded admirably, providing mothers with an array of extremely valuable techniques, stories, checklists, and advice."
—Debra L. Ness, president, National Partnership for Women and Families

"This book does a fine job of explaining the crucial role of parents in keeping children safe in these challenging times, including how to work with local law enforcement agencies."
—Kathleen O’Toole, commissioner, Boston Police Department

"This handbook has wonderfully addressed the question, How can parents acknowledge real contemporary fears and help assure their children’s safety, and at the same time promote their children’s independence?"
—Timothy F. Dugan, M.D., senior consultant in education, Cambridge Hospital, Division of Child and Adult Psychiatry

"This guide offers many useful ideas about keeping children safe, but its chief contributions are the two chapters on how you and your children can cope with fear most effectively. The activities described there will prove invaluable in maintaining your family's mental health in these troubling times. These are helpful methods for reducing anxiety in parents and children."
—Gordon L. Ulrey, Ph.D., associate clinical professor of psychology, School of Medicine, University of California at Davis

"As a pediatrician, I have dealt with the fears and phobias of children. When these are compounded by parental anxieties, the challenges of addressing the problems are magnified. The world is full of potential dangers, many of which are captured by the media who bring distant problems into our homes. The Safe Child Handbook offers a practical and insightful approach and is a valuable guide to both parents and professionals."
—Carol Berkowitz, M.D., executive vice chair and professor, Department of Pediatrics, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

"As a parent, teacher, and community activist, I am acutely aware of the dangers that are both unavoidable and, at times, out of our control. This book provides accurate information and simple strategies to encourage people to be proactive, and promotes communication between those who care for children and the children who put their trust in us."
—Joan Davidson, M.A., past president, Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified Schol District; art educator, Torrance Unified School District

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