Child Safety Apps to Protect Against Abduction
Have you ever lost contact with your child while shopping? Instantly, fear and panic set in. You frantically call out their name and find them happily playing with a toy a few aisles over. Relief sets in, and you remind your child not to walk away from you without asking.
Child abduction is a parent’s biggest fear – be proactive and talk to your child today about keeping safe:
Have Everyone on the Same Page
Have a monthly family calendar in plain sight, or if everyone has a smartphone, download a family calendar app like Cozi. At the beginning of each week, go over the schedule just in case something has changed. Make sure you know how your child is getting to and from the after school activity.
According to the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, 34 percent of attempted abductions occurred between 2:00 – 7:00 pm, the time frame when children are involved in after school activities.
If they are walking or another parent is driving, make a mental note of when you expect them home. Inform your kids that they are expected within a certain time frame, and if that changes, they need to contact you. Make sure your child texts you when they arrive home or if they will be delayed.
Empower (Don’t Scare!) Your Children
You want your children to take safety seriously so they can protect themselves and get out of dangerous situations, but you don’t want them to be so frightened they’re afraid to leave the house. The best way to do that is to inform them of what they can do if they find themselves in a situation with a would-be abductor. Role play different scenarios, so they are confident about using the techniques.
How Abductors Lure Children
Teach your kids to be wary of people who:
- Offer candy, treats, or money
- Ask a child for help
- Offer to show them an animal
- Tell them their parent/friend is hurt and they should get into a car to go see them
What Should Your Child Do?
According to the Center of Missing and Exploited Children, 51 percent of the children involved in an attempted abduction walked or ran away from the suspect, 30 percent of the children reacted to the attempt by yelling, kicking, pulling away, or attracting attention; and 18 percent were saved by a good samaritan or a parent being involved in the rescue.
Empower your child with these tips:
- Never go anywhere or accept food/money/items from someone who is not in your trusted circle of friends or family. Make sure your children know this applies even if they are in a public setting like a shopping mall, with or without you.
- If someone pulls up to the curb that you don’t recognize, run away. If someone offers you a ride or a treat, say no and run in the opposite direction.
- If you’re being followed, go to a public place or a house you trust.
- If someone tries to grab you or pull you into a car or house, start kicking and screaming – anything that will draw attention to your situation.
You pray the day will never happen that your child is missing, but being prepared is essential because time is of the essence when it comes to recovering your child; experts say the first 3 hours are the most critical.
You should always be aware of your child’s schedule– where they will be, and when you expect them back. If they don’t come home or make contact after the scheduled time to be home, you’ll know something isn’t right.
Download the FBI Child ID app today. If your child is missing, you’ll be panic stricken with fear and it could be difficult to remember helpful details like hair color and height. The app holds all the data you enter about your child and store it until it is needed to alert the authorities. This includes recent photos and other identifying features, like hair color, birthmarks, weight, and eye color.
If you and your child have a smartphone, consider the Lassy Project. This app allows other trusted people in your network to be notified of a lost child within seconds.
Load the profile and choose your network. If your child goes off the course that you set up, you will be notified immediately. You can hit the alert button to alert the people in your network. The alert displays your child’s picture and the last known location. Those contacted can let you know if they are with/have seen your child, or can assist you in the search. Thankfully, a missing child is often the result of miscommunication between a parent and child, but if it is more serious, you’ll have a team in place to help with the search.
What are some safety measures you take with your kids to prevent these scary situations? Share your tips with us!
Cover image via ArthurStock / Shutterstock.comTags : safety