We live in a dangerous world these days. It’s vital that you keep your children safe by teaching them important things they need to know to avoid becoming a statistic. You do not want to see your child’s face on a milk carton as a “missing child.”
As soon as they can understand and remember their full names, address and family phone number, you should make sure your child instinctively knows these key things. You should also teach them how to use a phone, and how to make a long distance call just in case they’d ever need to contact you and were taken outside of your area code.
It’s also important to teach children that they shouldn’t get into anyone’s vehicle or go inside anyone’s house without you—the parent or caregiver—knowing and approving of the people approaching them. Kids should also be taught to walk in packs rather than alone so they’re less vulnerable—it’s always better to be surrounded by friends, rather than alone on a deserted street where any predator could try to lure them into their car and kidnap them.
Children also need to know that should they ever get separated from their parents or caregivers at a store, mall or other public venue, they should go to the nearest checkout counter and ask the clerk if he or she works there. If the clerk replies yes, the child should ask them for assistance. It’s better for kids to do this than to wander a parking lot where anything could happen. Also, if they feel like someone’s following them, and they feel uncomfortable, it’s wise to advise them to seek out a place where there are other people around, such as a neighbor’s home or yard, or to go into a store. Rather than telling your kid to hide from their stalker, tell him or her to find a group of adults and ask for help.
Finally, remember to tell your children they’re not to tell anyone over the phone that they’re home alone, and they should never open the front door when home alone. Teach them the concept of what a stranger is—someone you don’t know very well. Warn them to scream the word “HELP” if they ever feel in jeopardy for any reason.
The more involved parents are involved in their children’s activities, know their children’s friends and friends’ parents, and don’t leave their children alone and unsupervised, the less likely you’ll have to face the difficult ordeal of tracking down a missing child.