Child Abduction – What You Need to Teach Your Children to Keep Them SafeBy Robert Siciliano Feb 03, 2012 | 11:00:00 amPosted in: Child Safety
This past weekend I read a story about a very courageous nine-year old girl in Colorado who had been abducted by a man but managed to escape. When the man’s car broke down, a passerby gave him and the little girl a ride to a nearby convenience store. The girl saw an opportunity, ran to the cashier and asked to use the phone at which point she called 911. She then very defiantly screamed that she wasn’t leaving the store until her momma came. The abductor turned around and fled but police captured him.
It’s incredible that this little girl was able to keep her wits about her like that. I question whether some adults would have been able to think that quickly. Clearly telling our kids not to talk to strangers or get into a strangers car isn’t enough these days to keep children safe. When you have creeps like this literally grabbing our children off the street, we need to instill even more survival skills.
I spoke with local police officers and self-defense instructors to get some tips:
- Enroll your child in a self-defense class – I’ve been wanting to do this myself and, I’ll admit, I hadn’t considered it for my kids but it is a good idea. It will give them a bit more self-confidence to know what to do if they are in a dangerous situation.
- Teach them to fight dirty – If someone grabs them they should kick (aim at his groin!), scratch or bite any skin they can come in contact with. Get low to the ground and grab anything that’s around – a pole, tree or even the abductors leg.
- Abductors are liars – Teach your kids not to believe the line “If you stay quiet and do as I say I won’t hurt you.” They should scream at the top of their lungs.
- Be aware of their surroundings – While it will be close to impossible to keep their wits about them, teach your kids to be aware of their surroundings if they’re abducted – the sounds they hear, landmarks they might see from the car, even distinctive smells if they’re taken somewhere.
- Duck under a car – If someone tried to abduct your child from a parking lot tell them to “make their arms like a windmill at rotate it from the shoulder so the attacker loses his grip. They should then run, pounding on cars to set off alarms and crawl underneath a car.
- Knock out the tail lights – Show your child the inside of the trunk of several different types of cars. Explain to them that if they are ever trapped (or placed) in the trunk of a car they should kick the tail lights out, push the wires through and hang their hand out to get the attention of another motorist.
Many parents believe that their child is too smart to be fooled by a potential abductor. But a news special several years ago in which an undercover cop showed horrified parents how easy it is to trick a child made me realize that any child is vulnerable. In fact, try to set your child up. Have an acquaintance, who your child doesn’t know, approach her and see if he can convince her to go with him.
I know people are going to disagree with me and say that we shouldn’t scare our kids and discuss abduction when it’s such a remote possibility. No one ever thinks it’s going to happen to their child. Unfortunately we just don’t know anymore.
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How to Begin the Child Abduction Prevention Conversation
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