Advice From Marc Klass – What Every Parent Needs To Know About Child AbductionsBy Child Safety Specialist Sep 13, 2010 | 10:25:00 amPosted in: Child Safety
Unfortunately, we read almost every day in the news about a child being abducted or an abduction attempt. Most recently a 24-year-old man was arrested in Riverside, California after attempting to lure a 12-year-old girl into his car. After the girl described the man, authorities quickly recognized similarities in another case of attempted abduction from last January, in which a girl was abducted and raped. Fortunately the man is now behind bars.
I recently had Marc Klaas, founder of KlaasKids.org on my radio show. Marc is the father of Polly Klaas, the 12 year-old girl who, in 1993 was abducted from her own bedroom at knife point and brutally raped and murdered. Marc went on to become a leading child safety advocate and offered my listeners some great advice.
Don’t live in denial – Marc said that one of the greatest issues is parents’ beliefs that “bad things don’t happen in their neighborhoods.” The reality is that every 40 seconds in this country, a child is reported missing. A good majority of those are abductions by family members, occurring approximately 220,000 per year. But there are also a good number of abductions by strangers.
Start the conversation - Talk to your child about safety but don’t make it a “stranger danger” conversation as many abductions and assaults occur with an acquaintance. It doesn’t need to be a fear-based conversation, but one that will teach them about making good choices that don’t compromise their safety.
• Always check in with a parent before going anywhere with anyone
• If outside, always be with at least one other person
• Teach them to trust their feelings – if something feels wrong it probably is
• Separate themselves from whatever’s making them feel bad
• If they feel threatened in any way they can go to almost any stranger for help. The vast majority would never hurt a child.
Establish rules for school – While many kids ride the bus to school, a large percentage walk. Marc offered a few tips to keep it safe:
• Walk the neighborhood with your child and show them the safest route. Also point out areas to avoid such as isolated streets, heavily wooded areas and dark alleys.
• Teach them to never walk alone, always with a friend.
• Give them a cell phone in case of emergencies.
• Establish a safe house along the route that they know they can go to if they feel unsafe.
*Content expressed in Home Security Source does not represent the thoughts and opinions of ADT unless explicitly indicated. Bloggers featured on HomeSecuritySource.com are professionals compensated by ADT. Please visit our Community Guidelines page for additional details.