Today is National Missing Children’s Day. It was first proclaimed by Ronald Reagan in 1983. It’s so sad that we even had to have such a day created but the reality is that, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, about 2,200 children go missing each day in the United States, or about 800,000 every year. Of these, approximately 2,000 were parental abductions to and from the United States.
Take a few minutes tonight to talk to your kids about keeping themselves safe from abduction:
- Never walk in a secluded or wooded area alone
- Always take the same path to and from school or a regular destination
- Never go near a car that pulls over to ask for directions or for any other reason
- Establish a code word with your child so they know that anyone who says they are picking them up must know it
- Make sure schools are aware of any custody issues and have copies of court orders to support them
- Give your younger child a working cell phone without a cell plan. As long as it’s charged they can still use it to call 911.
- Discuss with them online safety – check their Facebook pages and all other social network pages to be sure they’re not disclosing personal information.
- Search for your child’s name on the various search engines and see what information comes up
- When sending your child off on a playdate in which they will be visiting a park, mall or other destination, give the other parent a recent photo of your child that they can immediate provide to the police if they are lost or abducted
- Unfortunately, kids are taught to be respectful of adults who seem to have authority. Teach them that if anyone tries to grab them from a store or public area to scream as loud as possible and do whatever they can to resist.
Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises and Safety Mom Solutions, the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant.
If you are interested in more safety tips and info visit my new blog on the Home Security Source.