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What to Teach Your Child About Abduction

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2,100 missing-child reports are filed each day. How can you keep your child from being the subject of one of them?

Start by educating your child. Teach your child how to avoid dangerous situations and how to get out of them, should a dangerous situation occur. Make sure your child knows:

  • How to give a police officer her name, address, and home phone number
  • Never to accept candy or gifts from a stranger
  • How to use the telephone to call home, other places you might be, and 911 in an emergency
  • Never to tell anyone over the phone or at the front door that he's home alone
  • Never to go anywhere with a stranger, even if it sounds like fun
  • What to do (such as look for a police officer, approach a cashier, or call your cell phone collect) if you become separated in a public place
  • Who is allowed to pick her up from school
  • In whose car it's okay to ride and in whose it's not
  • To say "no" and then leave quickly if a stranger asks her to "help" with something that another adult could do
  • To run away and scream if someone follows him or tries to force him into a car
  • To say "no" to anyone who tries to make her do something you've said is wrong or touch her in a way that makes her feel uncomfortable
  • To always tell you or another trusted adult if a stranger asks personal questions, exposes himself, or otherwise makes him feel uneasy, even if the person made him promise not to tell or threatened him in some way
  • That she needs to always ask permission from a parent to leave the house, yard, or play area, or to go into someone else's home
  • The neighbor or relative's "safe home" that he should go to in an emergency
  • To avoid alleys and vacant lots when walking to school or a friend's house

Sources: The Nemours Foundation; City of San Diego Police Department

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.