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How to Protect Children from Kidnappers

It's every parent's worst nightmare. Make sure you and your kids are street savvy by reviewing these precautions.


  • Step 1: Don't advertise their name Don't let your children wear or carry anything that has their name on it. Child predators sometimes use this information to trick children into thinking that they know them.
  • Step 2: Don't restrict warning to strangers Don't just warn children about talking to strangers; abductors may befriend a child in anticipation of snatching them, so tell your children not to go off with anyone except their adult relatives. Teach them to yell, "This is not my parent!" Otherwise, bystanders may mistake an attempted abduction for a parent-child spat.
  • TIP: Have a family code word and teach children not to go with anyone who doesn't know it.
  • Step 3: Prepare them for an abduction attempt Teach your children that if anyone tries to grab them, they should make a scene, even if they are threatened. Tell them to scream as loud as they can and fight back with all their might.
  • TIP: Teach children to "yell if you're told not to yell; tell if you're told not to tell."
  • Step 4: Make their shoes distinctive Make their shoes distinctive. Kidnappers may change a child's clothes and cut or dye their hair, but they rarely think to replace their shoes. Also, always know what your children are wearing when they leave the house and be up to date on their height and weight.
  • Step 5: Warn about adults needing help Warn children to run away from strangers who ask for their help. This is a common ploy abductors use to get a child to go somewhere with them.
  • Step 6: Carry current photos Keep a current photo of your children on you. It will save precious time if the worst happens and your child is abducted.
  • FACT: A study of attempted child abductions found that in 84 percent of the cases, the child escaped thanks to their own actions, with 35 percent actively resisting and 49 percent running away.

You Will Need

  • Child predator behavior awareness
  • Family code word
  • Distinctive children's shoes
  • Parent-children talk
  • Current child photos

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