How parents can protect children from abduction
Establish a routine for picking your children up from school or other events.
Teach your child to recognize suspicious behavior and collect descriptions.
Get to know your neighbors and the children in the area. Make sure your child's friends know your house is safe and they can seek help from you.
Know where your children are at all times and who they are with.
Never leave your child alone in a public place, stroller or car.
Always accompany younger children to a public restroom.
Teach your children not to accept rides and gifts from strangers.
Always accompany your child on door-to-door activities, i.e. Halloween, school fundraising campaigns, etc.
Agree on a simple code word for emergency situations. A trusted adult who knows the code word can pick up your child if necessary.
Make sure your child knows their full name, address and phone number.
Teach your child how to reach you (home, office, mobile).
Teach your child how to call the police.
Have a plan in case your child gets separated from you in public.
Teach your child to stay in groups of friends when going anywhere.
Tell your children about child abductions in simple and easy to understand terms. Awareness can help them protect themselves.
Avoid clothing and toys with your child's name on it. A child may not fear someone who knows his/her name.
Promote an environment in which your child feels free to talk to you.
Let your child know that you will pick them up at any time, any place.
Listen closely when your child talks about friends or acquaintances they spend time with in your absence.
Check all potential babysitters and older friends of your child.
Urge your child to think escape/survival if he or she were ever abducted.
Speak to your local law enforcement agency to find out about neighborhood watch.
Check with your local law enforcement to find out if there are sexual offenders in your area.
Use a system such as KidSave to organize your child's photo and child ID card with pertinent descriptive data.
Keep up-to-date medical/dental history and finger print cards.
Teach your child that there is always someone to help them, and they have the right to be safe.
How children can protect themselves
Always tell your parents where you are going and who you are with.
Never answer the door if alone.
Do not invite anyone in the house without the permission of a parent or babysitter.
NEVER get into anyone's car without permission.
Don't tell anyone on the phone that your parents are not home. Instead tell them that your parents can't come to the phone and take a message.
Don't go to restrooms in out-of-the-way places without a trusted adult.
Don't take short cuts. Always use well-traveled streets.
Never go to playgrounds or movies alone.
Go to the nearest cashier if lost or separated from a parent in a store or mall.
Do not take candy or other gifts from strangers without asking a parent first.
Stay away from isolated areas or abandoned buildings.
If you do not know the driver of a car that slows down or stops near you. Run home, to the police department or to a public place where there are people. Do not run and hide.
If an adult approaches to ask for directions, step back, tell them you don't know and walk away. Adults should ask other adults for directions.
If forced toward a building or car, scream "help," scatter belongings and fight.
No one has the right to touch any part of your body that a bathing suit would cover. If someone touches you in a way that feels uncomfortable, tell them in a loud voice that it is your body and they don't have the right to touch you, even if it is a relative or friend. Tell an adult you can trust and keep telling until someone believes you.
If you see someone unusual hanging around a schoolyard or a park, tell your parents.
Tell a parent about anyone who exposes themselves to you.
Don't believe any adult who asks you to keep a secret from your parents.
Stranger Danger: Tricks strangers use to lure children
A stranger may quickly approach the victim. This element of surprise does not allow the child to think about what is happening and get away.
A stranger may pose as an authority figure (police, fireman, security) and ask the child to leave with them.
A stranger may try to bribe the child with money, candy, toys, cute pets, etc.
A stranger may tell the child there is a crisis such as a family illness and say a parent told them to pick the child up.
A stranger may approach with compliments to appeal to a child's ego.
A stranger may approach with false caring, promise or knowing child's name if noted on child's possessions (shirt, lunchbox, toy).
A stranger may suggest playing games.
A stranger may ask for help, such as directions or to help find a lost pet.
A stranger may fake an injury requesting help.
Children often idolize adults, allowing false trust. Strangers prey on this false trust.
A stranger may try to lure a child by asking the child to do work for the stranger.