The biggest myth is that the dangers to children come from strangers. In the majority of cases, the perpetrator is someone the parents or child knows, and that person may be in a position of trust or responsibility to the child and family.
Parents should choose opportunities or "teachable" moments to reinforce safety skills. If an incident occurs in your community, and your child asks you about it, speak frankly but with reassurance. Explain to your children that you want to discuss the safety rules with them, so that they will know what to do if they are ever confronted with a difficult situation. Make sure you have "safety nets" in place, so that your children know there is always someone who can help them.
Tips reprinted from Know the Rules...General Parental Tips to Help Keep Your Children Safer. Copyright National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). All rights reserved.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is the national clearinghouse and resource center funded under Cooperative Agreement #98-MCCX-K002 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions in this publication are those of NCMEC and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children? and 1-800-THE-LOST? are registered service marks of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.