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Youth center promotes child safety

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - - Carla Chavez, 47th Flying Training Wing summer-hire employee, asks the children of Laughlin’s youth center a question following her presentation on the dangers of talking to strangers. This presentation took place at the youth center July 13 for children to learn basic stranger safety tips. (U.S. Air Force photo by Laura Salazar)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - - Carla Chavez, 47th Flying Training Wing summer-hire employee, asks the children of Laughlin’s youth center a question following her presentation on the dangers of talking to strangers. This presentation took place at the youth center July 13 for children to learn basic stranger safety tips. (U.S. Air Force photo by Laura Salazar)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Laughlin's youth center is doing its part to ensure the safety of the children here by informing them of the dangers of the internet and teaching them to be weary of people they do not know.

David Huerta and Carla Chavez, 47th Flying Training Wing summer-hire employees, put together the presentations, which were given July 11 and 13 at the youth center.

Huerta led a discussion about online safety that took place July 11. The audience was between the ages of 11 and 14. The presentation consisted of the definition of an online predator, what counts as private information, what not to post online and other online safety tips.

"Many young kids are using things like Facebook and Twitter, and since they are so young, they don't know that even something like your date of birth could be dangerous to post on the internet," said Huerta.

Huerta spoke about basic internet safety and let the kids know what to do when they think something is not safe.

"The internet is a big deal these days. Predators try to target young children because they know younger kids are not as careful about what information they give out to people," said Huerta.

The discussion about the danger of strangers took place July 13 with five through nine year-old kids at the youth center. Chavez talked about what to do and not to do when a situation comes up when strangers try to interact with you, what to do when you're home alone and how to stay safe when out and about.

"The three main things to remember if stranger danger occurs is kick, bite and scream," said Chavez.

She said the main point of her presentation to the children was basically for them to not talk to anyone that they do not know.

"The rate of missing children has gone up, and I hope that these kids will take what I told them and think twice before talking to strangers, no matter how nice they may seem," said Chavez.

The next two discussions will also be on stranger-related topics. One is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., July 18 at Laughlin's Su Casa. Chavez is going to arrange a Powerpoint presentation and a skit for the children to watch. They will do arts and crafts, too. The other discussion is scheduled to take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., July 22 at the library. Huerta will read the children a story and they will also do arts and crafts.