Preventing Child Abductions
Child abductions and crimes against children involving the Internet seem to be on the rise. Parents need to communicate to their children the need to be cautious about strangers and who they communicate with online.
Bad Guys Look "Nice" Too
Teach children that any adult they don't know is a stranger, even if they look nice. Children often think that bad guys have to look "bad."
Anyone They Don't Know Is A Stranger
Abductors may say, "Your mom asked me to pick you up." Tell your child you will never send a person he or she doesn't know to pick them up. Ask a few trusted friends and relatives if you can be each other's emergency drivers and tell your child who is on that list.
Never Go Anywhere With a Stranger
Teach them never to go anywhere with a stranger and to move away from unknown vehicles that pull up beside them. Teach them to run away and scream out the word "Stranger!" if someone tries to get him or her into a car.
Warning Sign: Adults that Ask Children for Help
Tell them about specific ways that criminals gain the trust of children. Teach your children that strangers who ask children to help them do things should not be trusted. For instance, abductors often ask children for help finding a lost puppy or kitten.
Identify "Safe" Adults
Teach your child how to recognize "safe" adults such as cashiers and security guards who can help them in public places like stores, malls or parks.
No Names on Clothing/Backpacks
Make sure your child's name is not easily readable on his clothes or backpack. Children tend to trust people who know their names.
Know How To Use 9-1-1
Make sure your children know their names, phone number, address and how to dial 9-1-1.
Parents: Keep Current Photo of Your Child On-Hand
Make sure you have the information authorities will need to find your child if the unthinkable occurs. Know the current height and weight of each of your children as well as their eye colors. Also take photographs of your children at least every six months.