Child abductions, as malicious as they sound, don’t seem to happen as often as other crimes we see frequently on the news, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t very real. Kidnappers, for varied reasons, take children out of the safety and protection of their families and homes and use them to get what they want, be it money, attention, or some sick form of satisfaction. Luckily, parents and children alike are not helpless in letting these horrific occurrences happen, there are a number of things kids should be taught to do when faced with the possibility of a kidnapping and measures parents can take to ensure their children’s utmost safety.
• “Strangers mean danger” is something that you must emphasize to your children early on. They should never talk or go with someone they do not know, particularly without the permission or knowledge of a parent or trusted adult. Specifically, they must never let a stranger or anyone suspicious into the house, or get themselves into the home of anybody without a guardian’s permission.
• Before you hire anybody to work in your home or in close proximity to your kids, check them out first. Do some research by asking around and getting references. You may even go online and run them through the FBI’s website or a special site for convicted sexual predators in your area. The last thing you want is to hire a babysitter who has a record.
• Teach your kids that they don’t necessarily have to respond when someone asks them for directions, and they never should if it requires them to accompany a stranger to another location. Adults should ask adults for directions, not children. They must also be aware of kidnappers’ various tactics to lure innocent kids.
• In case children get lost in an area like a shopping mall, teach them to never approach another shopper but to instead go to the nearest cashier or security guard. They must never go out into the parking lot to search for someone. Also, instruct your kids that if they feel like they are being followed, they must go the opposite direction, call the attention of people in the area or approach the nearest security personnel.
• Likewise, if someone stops in front of them in a car, they must run towards the rear direction of the vehicle, as it is much difficult to quickly back up a car. Moreover, never get in an unknown vehicle, even if they are asked to willingly do so.