Preventing Child Abduction
Every time a child abduction makes the headlines, it understandably gets the attention and concern of all parents. However, parents should be aware that these types of cases are actually rare and we as parents can take measures to help ensure that these things won’t happen to our children. Teaching our children sound safety precautions is probably the best safeguard parents can provide.
- Children should never talk to strangers. Explain to them that a stranger is anyone they don’t know.
- If they are home alone, they shouldn't answer the door or tell anyone on the phone that they are alone.
- Always make sure you know where your child is and who they are with.
- Children should never go into a house with a friend that is unknown to the parent or accept rides from friends who are not known to the parent.
- Teach children not to be vulnerable to "lure tactics" such as someone approaching the child, acting very sad, and asking the child to please help find his missing pet.
- Children and parents should agree on a code word to be used by anyone other than the parent who would be sent to pick up a child in case of an emergency.
- We know that it is important that your children know their address and phone number, but be sure that they know never to give out the information to strangers.
- If the child is being followed by a vehicle, he should quickly turn around and run in the opposite direction to a place of safety. It will take someone in a vehicle some time to get turned around, hopefully allowing the child time to get to safety.
- If approached by someone who makes the child uncomfortable, the child should immediately run away and make noise, drawing attention to his or her situation. Rather than just screaming, the child should shout something specific such as "stranger – get away from me – leave me alone – this is not my parent – help."
- If followed or made uncomfortable in any way, the child should always tell you or another adult right away.
- If the child is attacked for something of value that he has, he should immediately give it up rather than risk harm.
- Consider role playing with your children using scenarios that they could face and what basic safety precautions they should use.
- Make sure that your children know that they can always discuss with you things that cause them concern or make them feel uncomfortable.
Take the time to ensure that your children know good basic child safety precautions which will make them less likely to be the victim of these types of crimes.