Each year, thousands of children go missing in the United States. FBI statistics show that most kids are reported missing in the spring and summer months.
As the summer has officially started, BAMFI would like to ensure that parents are empowered with the tips needed to keep their children, our children safe.
Parents can teach their children simple safety tips that could be the difference between life and death, such as showing them safe places in their neighborhood to run to if they feel threatened; warning them not to fall for common lures like needing help finding a lost puppy; screaming at the top of their lungs if they feel threatened; and always letting a trusted grownup know where they are going.
Child Abduction Prevention Tips:
- If someone stops next to them in a car, tell them to run away toward the rear of the car since backing up fast is difficult.
- Develop code words for anyone you trust to pick up your children and teach your little ones the code. Tell them not to ride or go with anyone who doesn’t know the code.
- Know the places your children play, learn about their friends and friends’ families – especially before they go to people’s homes to play.
- Show children safe places in your neighborhood to run to if they feel threatened – the home of a trusted friend, the local police station or firehouse.
- Tell children to trust their instincts. “If they think something’s wrong with someone they meet, they should run away.”
- Warn children not to fall for common lures such as: needing help finding a lost puppy. Some molesters tell youngsters they are cute and want to take their picture, or that they have a toy or candy for them. When children hear these approaches from a stranger, they should run fast to a safe place.
- If kids get lost while shopping teach them to find the nearest security guard or cashier.
- Carry recent photos of your child.
- Set up parental control tools on all internet enabled devices including age-appropriate filters to block harmful websites, videos and images.
- Regularly check the online communities your children use, such as social networking and gaming sites, to see what information they are posting.
- Spend time online with your children and build an atmosphere of trust by establishing an ongoing dialogue and open lines of communication.
- Supervise the photos and videos your kids post and send online.
- Instruct your children to avoid meeting face-to-face with someone they only know online or through their mobile device. You cannot recognize a disguised predator.
- Discourage the use of webcams and mobile video devices for younger kids and guide your teens and tweens in ways to use video safely.
Photo credit: Kindel Media from Pexels