Protecting Children From Predators

Thursday, November 1st 2007, 9:00 pm
By: News On 6

It’s a frightening statistic, there is a one in 42 chance that your child will become lost, missing or will be abducted. An even scarier statistic, 74% of abducted children are killed within three hours of their kidnapping. This shows you cannot have an ‘It couldn’t happen to my child’ attitude.

The days of teaching ‘Stranger Danger’ are in the past. That is because ‘Stranger Danger’ is not an effective way of keeping kids safe. Children do not understand strangers the way grownups do, they envision a scary person, but child predators are nice looking, kind and very friendly. Since predators use lures, it's best to teach your children about lures, and practice ‘what if’ scenarios and situations.

Remember, kids are very literal, so if you say ‘don't help a person who's looking for a puppy,’ they may not think that applies to a person looking for a kitten. Also, children should know grownups do not need help from kids, whether it's to get directions or to find something, etc. Children need to know they must come ask you before they offer any help.

Something else you should teach your children is that a child predator may tell them you've been injured, are sick or were in a car wreck and they've been sent to bring them to you. Even then, kids need to ask permission from someone they know before going with the person. Another way to keep kids safe in this situation is to have a safety word or code word. That way if you ever do need someone to pick up your child unexpectedly that person can tell the safety word to the child and they will know it is okay to go with that person.

Another way sex offenders and child abductors lure children is a threat of violence. Parents should talk to their children about people who threaten to hurt someone, like their mom or dad or sibling if they tell. Children should know that person wouldn’t follow through with the threat, that they should still tell and everyone will be protected.