Does your child know what to do in a dangerous situation?
In today’s society “stranger danger” is a lot more elaborate than when we were growing up. Sadly, criminals are getting crafty and often times using technology to lure your child away from you. It’s not as simple as don’t get into a car with strangers you don’t know and even the someone you do know can be a threat. It is important to teach children the dangers of other adults, even ones they trust.
In fact today, in my area we had 4 potential abductions all seemingly fit the description of the same individual, and moved to another city all this has happened in the last 12 hours. I commend the local police for doing their job to protect the children and the school district(s) for taking the appropriate actions. This all happened really close to me and while it didn’t happen in my particular area it’s quick to move to another city. Many of the schools were on lockdown until dismissal and there is heightened security during the dismissal times to further prevent it.
So what ways can we protect our children and discuss this situation regardless if it happens to us or not?
What is a stranger?
Teach your children what is a stranger. A stranger is an adult (or a child) that your child does not know. Children are overly friendly with other children and it is important to note than children you do not know can be a stranger as well. A real stranger can use another child to lure your child to them.
What is a “safe” stranger
Discuss who is a “safe” stranger. Today, “safe” strangers are more likely to be the cause of an abduction than someone your child doesn’t know. Do you know over 50% off kidnappings are people that your child knows? A “safe” stranger is someone like a teacher, doctor, nurse, police officer or firefighter.
Teach children different “stranger” situations and how to deal with them
Teaching your children different situations where strangers can try to use to lure your child to them.
Your mommy sent me to come get you
Can you help me look for my puppy?
Do you know where XXX is at?
Tips on keeping your children safe:
Pick a safe place that your children can go to; this can be a neighbor’s house, a special area in the park, etc
Teach them to trust their instincts; your gut is always right.
Create a safe word for pickups at school and in public places
ALWAYS know where they are
Monitor tech; require password for social media sites and emails, allow GPS tracking on cell phones (such as Find My iPhone), and regularly monitor their accounts for new friends, and suspicious activities
Update photographs frequently, and keep medical records up to date with any medical conditions and medications the child may be take
Never go anywhere with someone you don’t know or don’t feel comfortable with, say no
Make sure younger children know their names, address, phone number, parents names and other important information
Teach children that they don’t always have to listen to an adult because they are an adult. Especially if they feel uncomfortable, including safe strangers.