Dealing with the fallout of an abducted child is something no parent should ever have to go through. However, when preventing child abductions, there’s no such thing as being too prepared.
Teach Your Child to be Safe When They Encounter a Stranger
Stranger danger is still very much a thing. While not common, there are still reports of a child being abducted by an opportunist who was able to lure them into a vehicle. Obviously, the first step to take is trying to limit the opportunities strangers have to approach your child while you’re not there, but since you can’t always be by your side, it’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure your child knows how to take care of themselves whenever they’re approached by an unfamiliar adult.
Make sure your child knows that they should never:
- Get into a stranger’s (or even a friend’s) vehicle without your permission
- To never accept anything like small toys, candy, or other gifts from someone they don’t know
- To never help a stranger look for something (not even lost puppies)
- To scream loudly if a stranger gets too close
Teach your child how to stay far enough away from a stranger so that they have the time and distance needed to run away if the person makes a move to grab them.
Teach Your Child to Use the Internet Safely
Kids start using the internet at a very young age. While this is good in some respects, it can also be dangerous. Predators are extremely good at using the internet to find children. Teaching your kids never to share personal information about themselves, their friends, or their family online is extremely important. In addition to teaching your child sound social media safety practices, make sure that they know they can come to you if they virtually encounter anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable. You should also get into the habit of routinely checking out your child’s internet habits.
Teach Your Child How to Defend Themselves
Children who have been taught self-defense are far less likely to be abducted than a child who doesn’t know how to handle themselves. Teach your child to scream for attention and to kick and windmill their arms if someone tries to grab them. Let them know that in the case of adults trying to grab them and force them to do something they don’t want to do, it’s okay to bite, kick, hit, and spit.
Many community centers offer self-defense classes. These classes are an excellent way to make sure your child can take care of themselves and also boosts your child’s self-confidence.