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  • Children of every age, gender, and race are vulnerable to child abduction.

  • The abductor is just likely to be someone known to the child or family as to be a stranger.

BE ALERT: Over 50% of the children kidnapped in non-family abductions were taken from the street, in a vehicle, or from a park or wooded area.  Almost 75% of those children kidnapped in family abductions were taken from their own or another's home or yard.

 

  • A parent is the best person to teach a child about personal safety.       Teach smart thinking, strength of character and sticking together.

  • There is no set age at which parents should begin to teach children     about personal safety but a child's ability to comprehend and practice     safety skills is affected by age, education and developmental levels.

  • Start early.  Know your children's daily activities and habits.  Listen to     what they like and don't like.  Encourage open communication.  Let your children know they can talk to you about any situation.  Reassure your children that their safety is your #1 concern.

  • Set boundaries for your children about places they may go, people they may see, and things they may do.  Reinforce the importance of the    "buddy system."  Tell your children to trust their instincts and that it's     okay to say NO.

  • Be involved in your children's lives; know where your children are at all     times.  Have them check in with you if there is a change in plans.     Remember, there is no substitute for your attention and supervision. 

MOST OF ALL: Practice safety skills with your children so that they feel comfortable using them.

  • Children should know their full name, home phone number and how to     use the telephone.  Practice this with them.  Have your children recite their personal information.

  • Post your contact information where your children will see it including     office phone number, cell phone and pager.  Tell your children the  phone number of a trusted adult to call if they're scared or have an emergency.

  • If anyone bothers then while going to or from school, get away from that person and TELL a trusted adult like your or a teacher.

  • If someone they don't know or feel comfortable with offers them a ride,     say NO.

  • If someone follows them, get away from him or her as quickly as they     can and be sure TELL you or a trusted adult what happened.

  • If someone tries to take them somewhere, quickly get away and yell,    "This person is trying to take me away!" or "This person is not my father/mother."

  • They should never play in parks, malls, or video arcades by themselves;     they should go places with a buddy.

  • If they go home alone after school. check to see that everything is okay     before they go in.  Once inside, they should call to let you know that     they are okay.

  • If they go home alone after school. check to see that everything is okay     before they go in.  Once inside, they should call to let you know that     they are okay. 

  • They should trust their feelings.  If someone makes them feel scared or      uncomfortable, get away as fast as they can and TELL a trusted adult.

  • That they should never hitchhike or approach a car when they don't     know and trust the driver.

  • That adults should not approach children for help or directions and that if they are approached by an adult, they should stay alert because this may be a "trick."

  • Choose babysitters with care.  Obtain references from family, friends,     and neighbors.  Drop in unexpectedly to see how your children are doing with the babysitter.  Ask your children how the experience with the caregiver was, and listen carefully to their responses.

  • Make a list with your children of their neighborhood boundaries,      choosing significant landmarks.  Interact regularly with your neighbors     and tell your children whose homes they are allowed to visit.

  • Do not drop your children off alone at malls, movie theatres, video     arcades or parks.  Never leave children unattended in an automobile.

  • Continually reinforce that they should never go anywhere with anyone     without getting your permission first.

  • Do not put your child's name on clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes or     bicycle license plates.  If a child's name is visible, it may put them on a    "first name" basis with an abductor.

  • Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out     landmarks and safe places to go if they are being followed or need help.  Make a map with your children showing acceptable routes to school, using main roads and avoiding shortcuts or isolated areas.

  • If your children take the bus, visit the bus stop with them and make sure they know which bus to take.

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