Safety DVD Review: By A Six-Year Old

by Jennifer Chait

A six year old and me to be exact.

The Safe SideEarlier this week I mentioned that I got a safety DVD for my son Cedar. The video is called The Safe Side and it was created by John Walsh and Julie Clark (of the Baby Einstein fame). Right now The Safe Side Company has two different DVDs available; Stranger Safety and Internet Safety. We ordered the Stranger Safety DVD. You can also get them in video cassette format.

The DVD was very well-priced at $12.99 and came right away. It comes with safe side stickers, a viewing guide and other information for parents, and a child’s safe side data card. The card can be filled in with information that your child should learn such as phone number, parent’s cells, safe adults list, and more.

Stranger Safety DVD Goals:

What’s on the DVD:

This movie is about 40 minutes long and it was broken up into really nice sized chunks for little kids. There are 11 kid based sections that include:

  1. Introducing Safe Side Superchick.
  2. What is a Don’t Know?
  3. Examples of Don’t Knows.
  4. Hot Tip: Keep your Safe Side Adult close.
  5. Hot Tip: Don’t open the door!
  6. Hot Tip: Beware of tricks.
  7. Hot Tip: Don’t Know? Don’t talk.
  8. Hot Tip: Create a Safe Side Circle.
  9. Hot Tip: Know your Safe Side Adults.
  10. Hot Tip: Don’t go without asking.
  11. Hot Tips review at Safe Side Headquarters.

There’s also a music video and Spanish subtitles available.

What we thought:

I was leery because frankly, the commercials look a little annoying — a ’superchick’ flying around and loud noises. I wasn’t too excited. The commercials did however, entice my son because he’s been begging for this DVD for a while.

I was very pleasantly surprised. The ’superchick’ character was not annoying at all. She was a pretty calm voice of reason dressed up to appeal to kids. Her voice was nice to listen to and Cedar LOVED her. He thought she was great. They use real kids throughout the DVD and Cedar liked that too.

He laughed through the whole DVD, said it was “cool,” and asked questions. He also talked back to the DVD when superchick asked questions –  most of the time he got the correct answer too.

What’s “a don’t know”:

The best thing this DVD did was that they never, I don’t think, used the word “stranger” which was great because that word can be really confusing to kids. If you ask my son what a stranger is he’ll say someone mean or scary. By using the term “a don’t know” instead of stranger it made more sense to Cedar who he should and should never go with or get too close to.

The next term they introduce is “a kinda know” –falling into this category are adults that kids meet but don’t know well. This could be their dad’s boss, mom’s friend, baseball coach, or teacher at their school. The DVD emphasized not going anywhere with a kinda knows. I think that’s smart considering actual abductions by people kids never meet are more rare than abductions and harm from people they’ve met before.

The last set of characters introduced were the “safe side adults;” these are parents, grandparents, close adult friends, people like this. The DVD encourages parents and kids to discuss three safe adults that a child knows he can trust no matter what.

Was Cedar getting it?:

We stopped the DVD a few times and talked about it afterwards and he was able to rattle off a list of “kinda knows” as compared to “safe side adults.” It’s been a few days and he’s watched it twice. He’s getting this much better than he gets “stranger.” He’s still, I think, a bit confused about “don’t knows” because he likes to think everyone is his pal. I think though that with more discussions he’ll understand as well as a kid his age can.

Great stuff:

At one point they show a kid who know karate. They discuss that even though this little kid is a rock star at karate he’s no match for a big adult. They actually show superchick stopping his moves. I thought that was great because I’ve heard kids say things like, “I can stop a stranger by kicking, or hitting, etc.” This showed you can be strong but not strong enough.

I also liked that superchick had real kid-like weaknesses. She talked about being so excited when the doorbell rings and wanting to jump up and answer it and how it was hard not to. But she did not open the door because she also knew it wasn’t safe. Cedar loves to open the door but all week instead of opening the door he has gotten me first instead — a huge step for him.

On a scale of 1-10, I’d give this video a straight up 10, likely more. Cedar loves it, it was not overly annoying as a parent, and it really offers great ideas for kids. We will be ordering the Internet Safety DVD soon for sure. I actually hope that this company goes on to create more DVDs because I haven’t seen any stranger DVDs this well done before. There are other safety items you can order at the website; but I think the DVDs are your best first move for keeping kids safe.
To learn more visit the Safe Side Company.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 3rd, 2007 at 10:57 pm and is filed under Child Safety. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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