Life in contemporary American society requires that children spend considerable time in the care of other people. These people include teachers, coaches, babysitters, camp counselors, ministers, neighbors, friends, and extended family. While most people who work with children do a good job, some caregivers fail to adequately care for kids, while others actually put them in harm's way. Parents may assume that caregivers of all kinds are uniformly evaluated and approved, but this is t always the case. American society, despite a superficial rhetoric of concern for children, has t instituted strong national, state, or local safety nets to protect them. And because there is comprehensive commitment to ensure child safety, there is systematic, or even partial, oversight of adults charged with their care. As a result, parents are put in the difficult position of deciding whether caregivers of all kinds are sufficiently skilled and responsible to look after children. How to Keep Your Children Safe is essential reading for any parent concerned about child safety. It takes a hard look at the hidden side of children's lives-the times when they're in contact with caregivers who aren't doing their jobs properly. It provides detailed information on places where children are under the care of others, including day care, recreational settings, religious and civic organizations, schools, and summer camps.Vissing investigates the potential perils of each setting and enumerates ways in which parents can better monitor, or take control of, their child's safety. By writing a realistic assessment of commonplace settings that every parent and child can relate to, and offering a road map to child safety,Vissing empowers parents to make critical decisions about their children's lives.
Yvonne M. Vissing is Professor of Sociology at Salem State College where she is coordinator for its Center for Child Studies. She is the author of Women Without Children: Nurturing Lives (2002), Finding Information about Children: A Resource Guide to Using the Internet (2001), and Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Homeless Children and Families in Small Town America (1996).