The conventional warning against stranger for kids is not effective – because kids are not sure what or who a stranger or kidnapper is. And once a child learns a stranger’s name, he’s no longer a stranger. In fact, even adults often don’t recognize a predator if he acts friendly. So, while many of us are aware of the ways to prevent our children becoming a victim, here is a refresher list worth sharing with the children/printing and pasting in their room – to educate them should in case a need arise. By Abdulazeez Idiaro:
- Ensure your children know your full name, phone number and address.
- Never be alone off your property. Stay with friends – even when going to public places.
- Always get your parent’s OK before going anywhere – and phone your parent often.
- Walk only on routes to school and elsewhere that your parent has scouted out with you and pointed out safe places along the way. And never walk through parking lots or take other shortcuts.
- No headphones or hand-held games to distract you from what’s around.
- If someone comes near you, don’t speak to him other than saying, “Go ask an adult.”
- Never go near someone in a car or truck. Just run the other way – toward other people.
- Cute animals and candy are just two tricks used by bad people to get near you.
- Always get your parent’s OK before accepting money or a gift.
- If you see someone doing something wrong, go the other direction.
- Do not have your name printed on anything visible to strangers.
- Never get money for any school or club project unless your parent is with you.
- Don’t trust anyone who tries to get you to break your parent’s rules.
- Tell your parent about places or people that make you feel unsafe.
- Have a secret code word for emergencies. If you phone your parent while you’re with someone who scares you, you can say the code word to secretly let your parent know that you need help.
- Be sure that all exterior doors of your home are made of solid wood, fiber glass or steal and that the door’s hinges are on the inside of the door frame. Also, sliding doors should be secured with a charley bar to block the closed door.
- Don’t leave valuable in plain sight through the windows.
- If there is any chance that a previous resident of your home might still have keys to the house, change the locks.
- Have a security system installed and activated at all times. It is also important to display the home security provider’s signs and decals in a prominent place outside the home as these are a great deterrent.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked at all times.
- To simplify matters, teach your child: “No matter who it is, watch for ANYONE trying to get you alone – or into his car. ALWAYS ask ME before you go ANYWHERE with ANYONE!”.
STRANGER DANGER ESCAPE
- Thrash, fight, bite, and scream, “Help! Police!” repeatedly, shed a jacket or backpack that is grabbed, drop any excess baggage slowing them down, escape to a populated area, and call the police. YELL! RUN! TELL! The kidnapper fears a public spectacle and may simply flee alone. Also, witnesses may intervene, or at least identify the kidnapper and/or vehicle.
- If there’s a gun, ignore it and run! A gun is used to scare – rarely if ever to shoot a child. (Besides, if he’s willing to quickly kill a child on the spot, he’ll slowly do worse harm at leisure before killing the child later at a secluded, secondary crime scene anyway.)
- Pull the pin on their personal noisemaker alarm.
- Run in circles around an object such as a parked car.
- Get under a car (belly up) and hold onto the underside so he can’t drag them out. If he crawls under there after them, get out on the other side.
- Pull a fire alarm.
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