School shootings, child abductions and internet stalkers are all featured on the nightly news. In the maze of hazards our children face, you can use these tips to protect your children.
Protect Your Children from Abduction
There is only a 0.0003 % chance that your child will be the victim of abduction, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to do everything you can to protect your children. There are things your children need to know to stay safe.
- How to Self-Protect. One of the most important skills you can do to protect your children is teaching them how danger looks.
- Anyone unknown or that they don’t trust, or anyone that asks them to do anything that the child does not want to do.
- A red flag is any adult that asks a child for help. Teach children about their own personal space and what to do if someone invades it.
- It is wrong for anyone to ask your children to go to another location.
- Children should always be in groups of at least two or three.
- Practice role-playing with your kids, taking them through situations that they might encounter.
- Plan. If the unthinkable happens, you must be prepared. The critical hours are the first few after a child is abducted. Have your children fingerprinted and have current photos on hand. Keep a list of numbers, including 911 and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 800-843-5678.
- Pay Attention. Look around for any suspicious persons hanging around when you pick your children up. Monitor conversations for clues about people that don’t belong.
- Make a Safety Map. Mark neighborhood safe houses, fire stations and places they can retreat to if they feel threatened. Make sure your children know your phone number.
Protect your Children on the Internet
The constantly evolving world of the internet makes the potential for danger to children high. Staying on top of it requires constant vigilance. This is a brief list of ways to protect your children on the internet.
- Teach your children the dangers they might encounter on the internet. They should know how to protect their personal information.
- Your children should know that it is never okay to meet with someone from an internet chat.
- Children younger than high school do not need to be on social media sites. Elementary age children do not need email accounts.
- Make use of content-filtering software. Be aware of every device in your home that can be used to access the internet. Windows Vista and above have parental control settings available.
- Control what can be downloaded by keeping administrative passwords secret. Change the password frequently.