Tips for Child Safety and Kidnap Prevention
The world is, unfortunately, a pretty scary and dangerous place. Keeping children safe should be our top priority, but it goes beyond just the typical “stranger danger” method of teaching. Yes, stranger danger is important, but there are other factors to consider. Here are some tips on child safety and kidnap prevention.
Here are some tips straight from the FBI:
Stay away from strangers. Explain what makes a person a stranger. Note that even someone with a familiar face is a stranger if you do not know him or her well.
Stay away from anyone who is following you on foot or in a car. Don't get close to them or feel as though you must answer any questions they ask you.
Run and scream if someone tries to force you to go somewhere with them or tries to push you into a car.
Memorize a secret code word. Tell your child not to go with anyone under any circumstances unless that person also knows this code word.
Adults shouldn't ask children for help. For example, a child shouldn't trust grown-ups who ask kids for directions or for help finding a puppy or kitten. A child who is approached in this way should tell the person, "Wait here and I'll check with my mom or dad," and then find his or her parents right away.
Ask for help when you are lost. If you get lost in a public place, immediately ask someone who works there for help.
Always ask for permission before going anywhere with anybody. Ask a parent or the grown-up in charge before leaving the yard or play area, or before going into someone's home. Do not accept any unplanned offers for a ride—from someone known or unknown.
Always tell a parent where you are going, how you will get there, who is going with you, and when you will be back. Be home at the agreed-upon time or else find a way to contact home directly.
Another source provides this extensive list of things to teach in order to help protect your child:
Their full names, addresses and phone numbers
How to dial 9-1-1
Never to go into anyone's home without your permission
That if they become separated from you while shopping, they should not look for you, but go to the checkout counter and ask the clerk for assistance. Never go to the parking lot!
To walk with and play with others. The child is most vulnerable when alone. If your child walks to school, have him/her walk with other children.
That adults do not usually ask children for directions. If someone should stop in a car asking for directions, the child should not go near the car.
That if someone is following them, they should go to a place where there are other people, to a neighbor's home or into a store. They should ask for help. They should not try to hide behind bushes.
Never to go near a car with someone in it and never to get into a car without your permission.
That someone might try to lure them into a car by saying you said to pick them up. Tell them never to obey such instructions.
That a stranger is someone they and you don't know very well.
Never to tell anyone over the phone that they are home alone.
Never to answer the door when home alone.
Make sure that they know a neighbor they can call if someone tries to get into the house or if there is an emergency.
To tell you if an adult asks them to keep a secret, even if it is an aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc.
No one has the right to touch them or make them feel uncomfortable. They have the right to say no.
To tell you if someone offers them gifts or money or wants to take their picture.
To yell help, not just scream.
Teaching kids these simple tips could save their life!