For some reason the world we live in today seems to be much more dangerous than when we were kids. We were allowed to play outside from dawn to dusk. We were just expected to be home for dinner. Things have changed. Whether it is because we are now more aware or the world is in fact a much more dangerous place, we must take the necessary steps to keep our children safe. By implementing and following some easy steps, you will substantially increase the safety of your children and reduce the risk that a stranger could abduct your child.
Strangers mean danger. Most child abductors and child molesters look like everyday, normal people. Tell your kids not to talk to adults that they do not know. Your children should be taught to be cautious of strangers who are trying to be overly friendly with them or approaching them for no reason.
Common abductor tactics. Abductors will often attempt to gain your child’s trust or confidence by asking for help. Common ploys include asking the child to help them find a lost pet; telling the child that Mom or Dad has been hurt and that the child needs to go with them; offering reward money for help; asking for directions to someone’s house; acting like an undercover police officer (children should only approach uniformed police officers and marked police cars).
Tell children to stay away from cars. Child abductors take children away from their neighborhood in cars or other vehicles. Children should never approach a vehicle unless they are absolutely, 100% positive that they know who is in the vehicle. Abductors entice kids to come close to the vehicle and then they pull the child inside and make a quick escape. If someone pulls up next to your child, train your children to run away from the vehicle. The child should run in the direction of the rear of the vehicle because it is difficult to drive fast while going backwards. Children should stay on sidewalks. If a child is on a bike, he or she should keep the bike in between the car and themselves.
Children are most vulnerable when they are alone. Abductors and child predators prey on children when the child is alone. The abductors wait for opportunities when they find a lone child. Children should not be outside of their home alone, even for short periods of time. Children should walk to and from school or to the bus stop in groups.
Role-play with your kids. Act like a stranger or potential abductor. Teach your children how they should react. Teach your children how they should respond. If approached by a stranger, kids should run away, yell loudly and scream what exactly is going on. For example, they should yell “stranger”; “Help! This is not may Dad;” “Help! This is not my Mom;” Help! I am being kidnapped;” “Help! Call the police.” If your child just screams, other people may think that the child is just throwing a temper tantrum. The child must yell exactly what is going on.
Extra caution at dangerous times. The most dangerous times for child abduction is right before and right after school. There are often lots of kids walking or milling around. The people there may be only paying attention to their own kids. It is not unusual for slow moving vehicles to be driving around. Kids need to be cautious and alert. They should stay away from strangers and strange cars.