As the news and media sources report more and more cases of horrific child abduction; parents need to educate themselves and their children about how to prevent being a victim of such horrors. Here are a few safety techniques being advised by local law enforcement agencies and professionals:
- Always know where your children are, and who they are with. Meeting your children’s friends sometimes is just not enough. Make a trip to meet parents and see if there are any other individuals that hang out where your children are.
- Pay attention to your kids and any changes in their behavior. Sudden mood swings, depression, anger or other differences from normal behavior can be a sign that something is wrong.
- Regardless of how many times you have been somewhere or how safe you feel, never leave your kids alone in a public place, car, or stroller. It only takes a moment of inattention for a child to be taken.
- You may be stressed, tired or sick, but never ask a stranger to hold your baby.
- Do not label lunch boxes or clothing with names, phone numbers or other personal information. A stranger can easily obtain your private information and use it to lure your child.
- Never let your children go out alone. Teach them to always use the buddy system.
- Help your child to memorize their telephone number, address and how to contact you or a close friend. Teach them to never share this information with anyone but trusted adults.
- Do not overlook threats from anyone that comes into contact with your child.
- If you are involved in a custody battle, get social security, credit card numbers, and addresses.
- Be sure that your always have current photos of your child and keep them on hand.
- Keep current dental and medical records for your children.
- Organize regular neighborhood meetings so that children know safe houses in the neighborhood where they can go in emergencies.
- Teach your kids to never open the door without saying a secret password. Periodically change the secret password at regular intervals.
- Instruct your children from an early age about how to use critical thinking and intuition.
- Develop a family plan of action for emergency situations. Practice situations with your children through role-playing.
Teach them about their rights of privacy and that sexual advances from adults are against the law. Show them that they must never be afraid to report inappropriate behavior to a trusted adult.
For more information about child abduction, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, your local law enforcement or FBI office.
Any and all advice contained herein is intended only to assist parents and families with abduction of children. Nothing suggested in this article should substitute for common sense, police direction or other professional advice.
About The National Academy for Child Abduction Prevention Associates, LLC:
Founded in 2013 by Roy M. Doppelt, Esq., the National Academy for Child Abduction and Prevention Associates, LLC is an Academy of family law attorneys advocating prevention of child abduction through public education and professional collaboration. We believe that educating the public about kidnapping and its prevention is a paramount duty of attorneys who represent family law clients.