Abduction Prevention Strategies
Real safety comes in layers. More than one strategy should always be in place to assist your child to stay safe. The more strategies in place, the safer the child.
Don’t scare children.
Instead, empower them to be SAFE and SURVIVE! Teaching safety should be fun.
Share the golden safety rule.
Don’t go anywhere, with anyone, without the caregiving adult’s permission.
Repeat strategies over and over.
Reinforce your safety messages throughout the years, at each new developmental stage, as children gain new capacities for understanding.
Find safety in numbers.
Children should always travel in groups of two or more, take the same route, and check in when they arrive home.
Hide personal identification.
Do not have names visible on outerwear or backpacks. Doing so allows an unknown person to use a child’s name to create an instant sense of comfort and contact. Identification should be on the inside of personal items.
Instruct children never to approach vehicles.
If children are ever approached by someone in a vehicle, they should run in the direction opposite from the direction the vehicle is travelling and tell an adult right away. Teach children NOT to stop to see what the driver wants. Time may be critical—RUN!
Teach children that unknown adults shouldn’t ask them for help.
Adults ask other adults for help. An adult asking a child for help is a sign of danger. Teach children to run and tell a trusted adult. It is NOT a child’s job to assist an adult seeking help or looking for a lost dog. In the case of a real request, the caregiving adult should be asked if the child can assist.
Establish an easy-to-remember family password.
Share the password if you send somebody to pick up your child. Predator tricks such as “Your parent is ill, and I am here to pick you up” will not work as easily with this additional layer of safety. Always have your child attempt to contact you to confirm; cell phones are safety’s best friend!
Remind children that it’s okay to yell!
If someone grabs a child, the child should hit, kick, and, most important, YELL as loudly as possible to draw attention.
Train children to trust their instincts and NEVER go against them.
If someone makes a child feel unsafe, it’s okay for that child to leave right away and tell an adult.
Prevention Is the Key to Safety