An experiment carried out in Great Britain revealed that a stranger is able to lure a child out of the playground within 90 seconds. The trick they use is usually about looking for a lost dog or another child together.
Every year thousands of children and teenagers go missing without a trace. It is kids under 14 who are abducted the most.
Is there anything we can do to prevent our children from that risk? Below you will find a bunch of useful tips that you simply can’t ignore.
Education over scaremongering
Children have to be taught about the risks and threats lurking at playgrounds and other public places from very early stages. The best way to do it is a calm conversation with the view to reduce the trust children have for strangers. Of course we should not scare kids too much or generally bring them up in the atmosphere of omnipresent danger. All we need is consistent education and showing them how to be careful and sensible.
#1 Chats online
Your kid needs to know that the person on the other side of the internet chat doesn’t have to be the one they claim to be. Also, they need to know that at no time should their personal details be revealed to anyone, especially online.
#2 Limited trust
Explain what ‘a stranger’ actually means. Tel them not to accept any gifts (for example sweets) from anyone. Your kids must remember to let you know about any situation when a stranger wants to get in touch with them.
#3 Calling for help
Tell your children that if anyone wanted to force them into a car, they must yell, scream, kick and cry for help as loud as they can.
#4 No names on clothes
Never put any clothes on your child that give away any trace of their identity (like their first name). Kids trust people who know their names.
#5 It’s all about conversations
Bringing up children is not only about setting boundaries and limits. Your children need to feel that no matter what happens, you are always there for them to talk about anything. With no taboos whatsoever.
#6 Emergency plans
Teach your kids what do to in case they get lost, for example in a shopping center. Tell them not to leave the building, for example to go to the parking lot. Decide together who they should talk to to get help (for example check-out personnel). Let the plan be simple and clear.
#7 Always with dad or mum
Never leave children unattended in a trolley before the shop entrance or in your car.
#8 Important words
Talk to your kids and listen carefully what they tell you. Never ignore their stories or don’t assume from the very beginning that they make up or exaggerate things. Your relationship should be based upon trust. This is the only way to pick up some alarming symptoms.
#9 The most important data
Teach your children their full name, their address, your telephone and police phone numbers.
#10 A GPS watch
When children are abducted, the kidnappers usually throw away their phones first so that the kids won’t be tracked. So instead of a phone, your kids can wear a smartwatch or a smartband with a GPS tracker. There is a chance that the kidnapper will ignore it.