It is amazing that we are given this little gift of life without a handbook. We try our best to keep them safe. However, there are some things as parents we should know. I was lucky enough to be invited onto a phone call with the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children and learned a lot of information about keeping my kids safe. My goal is let you know what I have learned, so your children don't become a statistic.
Did you know that most abduction attempts occur after school? It is usually between the hours of 2 (aff) pm – 7 pm. Almost half of nonfamily abduction attempts happen when a child is walking to or from school (or some related school activity).
Did you know that the majority of children affected by abduction attempts are girls between 10 – 14?
Did you know that only 58% of parents have talked to their children about this?
This is scary information. I remember when I was a kid, and I could go play outside myself. Now, I would never let my kids outside by themselves! I am so glad to see that Duracell and The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) have teamed together to give us parents a handbook to start a conversation with our children. Best of all, this is free of charge! The Child Safety Handbook can be downloaded right from the linked site.
Now, we were able to ask questions and mine revolved around what to tell my 4 year old daughter. I don't want to scare her, but I also don't want to not have this conversation with her. The advice I was given for her age is that we really need to get away from “stranger danger”. The problem with stranger danger is that it portrays strangers as these scary bad people, and that is not what strangers look like. We need to talk about the situations that have been tried and are effective — like the puppy trick. We need to teach our children that it is okay to say no to stranger and that if an adult needs help, they will ask another adult, not a child. Our response cannot be fear based, and we must also reassure our children.
I highly recommend downloading that handbook. You will find a ton of helpful information no matter how old your child is. The Power of Parents Child Safety Handbook provides safety tips from the experts at NCMEC for four age groups: infant to toddler, ages 4-6, ages 7-11, and ages 12-17. The handbook outlines age-appropriate tips and scenarios that parents need to be aware of, as well as some outside influences that may be impacting their child’s actions. If reading this handbook could potentially save your child, it is well worth taking the time to download and read it.