10 Tips to Protect
Your Kids from Abduction
According to the National Center
for Missing and Exploited children,
over 700,000 children are reported
missing every year. Many of these
children are runaways or are taken
by family members. Approximately
50,000 are taken by non-family
members or strangers.
To the horror of any parent who
has seen the Carlie Brucia abduction
that was caught on videotape by
a security camera, a child can
be too easily taken. Parents and
children can reduce the risk of such
an unimaginable event by taking
proactive measures to avoid harm.
Here are 10 Tips to Protect
Your Kids from Abduction:
-1- Do you know where your kids are?
Teach your children that: "Any place
you go your parents need to know!"
-2- Check your state's sex offender
registry. Currently there are
approximately a half of a million
registered sex offenders in the
United States. They live in cities
and towns all across the country.
They are in "poor" and "affluent"
neighborhoods. And they could be on
Every parent should make it a
priority to do a quick search to
educate themselves about potential
risk exposures that may be
-3- Empower your children. Let them
know that it is okay to say NO to an
adult, especially if that person is
suggesting something that is making
the child feel uncomfortable.
-4- Beware of Adults Needing Help.
Explain to your children that very
rarely will an adult need a child's
help. If an adult they do not know,
asks your child for help in finding
an address or finding a lost dog, etc.
these are likely tricks to lure them.
-5- Make a scene and call for help.
Teach your kids to scream for help
if someone tries to grab them.
Tell them to yell, "help, this is not
my mother (or father)." Screaming
"fire" could also help to draw initial
attention. Tell them to "fight, bite,
and use all their might" to get away.
Any child (or adult) that is abducted
and taken to a "remote" location will
likely face more serious harm.
-6- Adult supervision is critical.
Younger children should always be
supervised by an adult. If your
4 year old is outside playing
with another 4 year old, you just
"entrusted" a 4 year old to
"watch your kid." Do your best to
coordinate with other parents to
supervise children at play and to
escort kids to and from school. Older
children (teens) should be encouraged
to always travel in groups.
There is safety in numbers!
-7- Know who to ask for help.
Teach your children who they should
ask for help in various situations,
locations and circumstances.
If lost in a store, go immediately
to a store counter clerk or service
desk to ask for help. However, a child
should be cautious of someone who
attempts to make him/her "go somewhere"
with that person without the parent's
knowledge. An abductor may deceive a
child under the pretense of being
an authority figure, such as
pretending to be a security guard.
Your child should know that if they
are approached and either grabbed
are asked to "come close," to keep
their distance and get to a "safe"
person and/or place.
-8- Define and clarify strangers,
acquaintances and "safe" adults.
Many parents have explained the
"Stranger-Danger" scenario to their
children. However, the term "stranger"
can be misinterpreted by children to
only include people who they do not
know and who "look" dangerous.
However, this narrow parameter may
make your child much more vulnerable
than you realize. Many abductors
are well groomed and appear to be
friendly and harmless. They may
even be someone that your child
is familiar with in the neighborhood.
Your child may assume that if he/she
knows a person's name, that person
is not a "stranger" and therefore
not someone to worry about.
They must understand that they are
to be cautious of "any person" that
attempts to lure them to any place
or into any vehicle without your
knowledge and approval.
-9- Don't advertise your child's
identity. Many parents "advertise"
their child's name on book bags,
purses, jackets, etc. Any predator
can approach your child by name
and pretend to know them or to be
sent by you to pick them up.
Keep such items at home. Having a
family password may also prevent
the possibility of someone approaching
your child and pretending to
be sent by you to get them.
-10- Complete a child ID Kit for
your child/children. Even though
an Id Kit is most valuable in
expediting the search for a lost
child it can also help with prevention.
As you complete a kit you have the
opportunity to discuss various
dangers and safety tips with your
Children must be empowered with
tools to help them in dangerous
and questionable situations.
Knowledge is a most valuable tool
to help your family stay safe.
About the Author:
Julie Joyce is a Child and Family Safety
Expert, committed to teaching parents how to
protect their kids from a variety of dangers.
She is the Editor of FamilySafety101.com
and the "Safe Kids Report" newsletter.
Parents can access F-r-e-e Child ID Kits
and other f-r-e-e family safety resources, at: