10 Tips to Protect
Your Kids from Abduction
by: Julie Joyce
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited children,
over 700,000 children are reported missing every year. Many of these
children are runaways or are taken by family members. Approximately
50,000 are taken by non-family members or strangers.
To the horror of any parent who has seen the Carlie Brucia abduction
that was caught on videotape by a security camera, a child can be too
easily taken. Parents and children can reduce the risk of such an
unimaginable event by taking proactive measures to avoid harm.
Here are 10 Tips to Protect
Your Kids from Abduction:
-1- Do you know where your kids are? Teach your children that: "Any
place you go your parents need to know!"
-2- Check your state's sex offender registry. Currently there are
approximately a half of a million registered sex offenders in the United
States. They live in cities and towns all across the country. They are
in "poor" and "affluent" neighborhoods. And they could be on
Every parent should make it a priority to do a quick search to educate
themselves about potential risk exposures that may be "dangerously"
-3- Empower your children. Let them know that it is okay to say NO to an
adult, especially if that person is suggesting something that is making
the child feel uncomfortable.
-4- Beware of Adults Needing Help. Explain to your children that very
rarely will an adult need a child's help. If an adult they do not know,
asks your child for help in finding an address or finding a lost dog,
etc. these are likely tricks to lure them.
-5- Make a scene and call for help. Teach your kids to scream for help
if someone tries to grab them. Tell them to yell, "help, this is not my
mother (or father)." Screaming
"fire" could also help to draw initial attention. Tell them to "fight,
bite, and use all their might" to get away. Any child (or adult) that is
abducted and taken to a "remote" location will likely face more serious
-6- Adult supervision is critical. Younger children should always be
supervised by an adult. If your 4 year old is outside playing with
another 4 year old, you just "entrusted" a 4 year old to
"watch your kid." Do your best to coordinate with other parents to
supervise children at play and to escort kids to and from school. Older
children (teens) should be encouraged to always travel in groups. There
is safety in numbers!
-7- Know who to ask for help. Teach your children who they should ask
for help in various situations, locations and circumstances. If lost in
a store, go immediately to a store counter clerk or service desk to ask
for help. However, a child should be cautious of someone who
attempts to make him/her "go somewhere" with that person without the
parent's knowledge. An abductor may deceive a child under the pretense
of being an authority figure, such as
pretending to be a security guard.
Your child should know that if they are approached and either grabbed
are asked to "come close," to keep their distance and get to a "safe"
person and/or place.
-8- Define and clarify strangers, acquaintances and "safe" adults. Many
parents have explained the "Stranger-Danger" scenario to their children.
However, the term "stranger"
can be misinterpreted by children to only include people who they do not
know and who "look" dangerous.
However, this narrow parameter may make your child much more vulnerable
than you realize. Many abductors are well groomed and appear to be
friendly and harmless. They may even be someone that your child is
familiar with in the neighborhood. Your child may assume that if he/she
knows a person's name, that person is not a "stranger" and therefore
not someone to worry about.
They must understand that they are to be cautious of "any person" that
attempts to lure them to any place or into any vehicle without your
knowledge and approval.
-9- Don't advertise your child's identity. Many parents "advertise"
their child's name on book bags, purses, jackets, etc. Any predator can
approach your child by name and pretend to know them or to be sent by
you to pick them up. Keep such items at home. Having a family password
may also prevent the possibility of someone approaching your child and
pretending to be sent by you to get them.
-10- Complete a child ID Kit for your child/children. Even though an Id
Kit is most valuable in
expediting the search for a lost child it can also help with prevention.
As you complete a kit you have the opportunity to discuss various
dangers and safety tips with your child.
Children must be empowered with tools to help them in dangerous and
questionable situations. Knowledge is a most valuable tool to help your
family stay safe.
About the Author:
Julie Joyce is a Child and Family Safety Expert, committed to teaching
parents how to protect their kids from a variety of dangers. She is the
Editor of FamilySafety101.com
and the "Safe Kids Report" newsletter. Parents can access F-r-e-e Child
and other f-r-e-e family safety resources, at: