KidZone is a resource for children, teens and adults provided by the Houston Bar Association. If you need information on juvenile law, safety, law as a career, legal terms, courts and other law-related issues, we hope you find helpful resources in the sites and links provided here. If you have a suggestion for additional resources, please contact Tara Shockley.

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Safety on the Streets

Tips for any time:

Be alert. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times.

If you are less than 17 years old, you are subject to the City of Houston’s Juvenile Curfew Law. This means you cannot be in public without an adult during certain hours of the day.

Know where you are going. If you are lost, stop — especially if you are alone. Take time to learn where you are and know how to get where you want to go. If you have a map, look at it. If you have a phone, use it to call someone you trust to guide you, or use the GPS function if it is a smartphone.

If you are with a group of people, establish a landmark location where you can go if you get separated. That way, if you or another member of the group ends up alone, you can find them by going back to the landmark.

Trust your gut. If something feels wrong or scary to you — even if you don’t know why — that is your body’s way of telling you to get out of the situation. Listen to your body.

Don’t trust strangers. Do not go with anybody you don’t know. If a stranger says something like, “Your parent/guardian/teacher said you can come with me,” and this information is new to you, tell them to wait while you find a phone and call your trusted adult. And if a stranger offers you something, do not take it.

If you are in danger:

Run away. Running away from danger is the first thing you should try and the best thing to do. Get to a safe place as quickly as you can.

  • A safe place could be your home, or the home of a friend, neighbor or family member.
  • This could also be the nearest school, place of worship (temple/church/mosque/synagogue), hospital, doctor’s office, police station, or fire station.
  • If you are alone, you cannot find a safe place, and there is nobody nearby who you trust, then go to a place that is crowded with lots of people.

If you have access to a phone, call your trusted adult. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

If you are stuck or trapped, stay where you are. Use your voice — or a phone if you have one — to call out for help.

If somebody touches you or grabs you without your permission, or if someone tries to hurt you:

  1. Tell them to let go of you. Be firm and serious.
  2. Run away. As soon as you are free, get away as quickly as possible. Get to a safe place, or if you cannot find one, a crowded place.
  3. Fight back. It is completely okay to scream, push, twist around, punch, kick, or do whatever else you can to make them let go of you. Be loud and make a scene. Don’t be afraid of hurting the person.

If you are walking down the sidewalk and you notice a car following you, turn around and run in the opposite direction. Get to a safe or crowded place.

Safety at School

Your teacher should go over emergency procedures with you. This includes what to do in case of fire, bad weather, school intruders, and other threats.

Whenever your teacher tells you about these procedures, listen carefully. Following the steps they give you is the best way to stay safe.

Safety at Home

Talk about safety with the people living in your home. Establish what to do in case of a break-in, a fire, a power outage, a flood, or any other potential disaster.

Here are some resources that can help you prepare for different disasters:

Set up a “safe word” with your family.

A safe word is a word or phrase you can say to a close family-member that lets them know you are feeling uncomfortable or unsafe, and that you want to leave. This lets your family member know to come get you out of the situation.

You can come up with your own safe word or use one of these examples:

  • “Can you buy me octopus sushi from the store?”
  • “Tommy Rot asked if we could play.”
  • “Lizard tails!”


What should I do if I am being mistreated by a teacher or staff member at school?

Let’s say there is an adult at your school who bullies you, humiliates you, or treats you badly. This may be happening to another child, too. The first and best thing to do in this situation is to tell somebody.

Tell another adult at the school. Tell your parent/guardian(s). The more adults you inform, the more likely it is that they will help. Let them know what you have been through. Keep telling others until someone helps.

Here is a resource for your parent/guardian to use in the event that your teacher is bullying you.

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What should I do if somebody touches me without my permission?

No one should ever touch you without your permission.

In the event that somebody does touch you without your permission — whether you know that person or not — these are the steps to take:

  1. Politely, but firmly, tell them to stop.
  2. Get out of their grip. Push them away or pull yourself away.
  3. Get out of their reach. Leave the area as soon as possible and make your way to a safe place.
    • A safe place could be your home, or the home of a friend, neighbor or family member.
    • It could also be the nearest school, place of worship (temple/church/mosque/synagogue), hospital, doctor’s office, police station, or fire station.
    • If you are alone, you cannot find a safe place, and there is nobody nearby who you trust, then go to a place that is crowded with lots of people.
  4. Get into contact with an adult you trust. This adult can help you.
  5. Call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

If anybody touches you inappropriately, let your trusted adult know what happened. Whether or not you know the person who did it, it is still not okay. Keep telling people until someone helps.

You can call the Childhelp National Abuse Hotline at 1 (800) 422-4453 to get help from a volunteer who will listen to you, any time, any day.

You can also call 9-1-1 in an emergency, or in non-emergencies, call the Houston Police Department at (713) 884-3131.

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Interested in a legal career in the future? Here are some helpful resources.

If you attend school in the Houston area, you may be able to participate in the Houston Bar Association’s various events for children. Click here to learn about these programs.

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