Child abduction is one of every parent’s top fears. No parent wants their child to be taken away from them for any reason, and most every parent wants to do everything in their power to prevent something like that from happening. There are things that you can do both to protect your own children from being targeted, and also to stop other children from being abducted. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes stopping a kidnapping in its tracks requires a community effort.
How To Protect Your Child From Being Targeted
The easiest way to prevent your child from being kidnapped is to make them a hard target in the first place. Be active in their life, make sure to make time for every sports game, recital, any extracurricular activity that people will be there for. Many kidnappers will look for children whose parents don’t go to these types of events. It’s also good form to make sure you know who your child is talking to both online and over the phone to ensure that a kidnapper isn’t trying to earn their trust using that method.
Watch How Adults Act Towards Children In Public
There are some red flags that you can keep an eye out for. For instance, if you see someone at the playground that doesn’t have a kid you should be wary of them. Maybe even take a picture of them, in some cases that will scare them off and they won’t likely be back to that playground.
Another thing to look out for is adults asking children for help, from their car or otherwise. Adults know better than to ask kids for directions or to find their lost dog. Strange children usually won’t know the lay of the land, and won’t know how to look for a strange dog, and most adults have access to smartphones that can give them far more accurate directions than any child is going to.
If you see an adult asking a child for help, try to intervene calmly. If they need directions, just tell them how to get where they’re going. If they need help finding a lost dog, just tell them you haven’t seen them then assist the child. Your only goal here is to get the adult to leave calmy, but try to remember their license plate number or at least the color and make and model of the car so you can easily report them to the authorities.
A common tactic used by kidnappers is to have children help them. They’ll send a child out onto a playground, for instance, to lure a child away with them. If you’re at a playground and you see your child start leaving the playground with another child that you don’t know, approach your child and ask where they’re going and how they know the other kid. Trust your gut, if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t.
Kidnappers will also typically bribe children into going with them. This usually includes candy, toys, or other things that the child might want. If you see this happening to a child, try and intervene. If you know the child just take them away, and if not try to ask the adult questions. Make sure to report this kind of behavior to the authorities, as well.
Keeping Children Safe Is Important To Us All
It’s unfortunate that there are people in this world that wish to take children away from their parents for nefarious reasons. Make sure that your children know not to trust strangers and to tell you if adults are acting strangely towards them. Having a plan will always make keeping your children safe easier.