Prevention Techniques


1.) School Routes
If possible children should walk together and in populated areas to and from school. Teach your child to avoid walking alone, particularly near heavily wooded areas. If kids are walking to school they should walk together in groups, the larger the group the less probability the abductor will strike.

2.) Alleyways
More apt to be the site of an abduction in urban settings. Basically, the same advice is applicable here: tell your children to walk with someone else, away from the alleyways and never to accompany a stranger into an alleyway.

3.) Playgrounds
Often there's a false sense of security in sending your child off to a playground, since its usually supervised by a young adult. But that supervisor can't know the parents of every child nor can he keep track of the whereabouts of each child. Usually it's his role to involve as many of the kids as possible in sports and games, and to be there to help in case an injury occurs. If your child does attend a playground, try to send your child with some other children in your neighborhood. Also tell your child to report anything suspicious, such as an adult trying to convince the child to accompany them, to the supervisor immediately. Leave a phone number where the supervisor can reach you or your spouse throughout the day to investigate any questionable incidents.

4.) Arcades
  "I was good at video games", one convict told us, "and it was easy for me to attract a crowd of kids to watch me play the game." He simply continued playing ingratiating himself with the kids who remained to watch, until he made his move. Advice: keep your kids out of arcades as much as possible. If your child insists on going, go with them; if you cannot supervise your child there, at the very least stress that your child is not to go off with anyone else and arrange a time that you will pick them up. This situation also develops at stores which are not arcades per se, but feature video games for children to play. Many department stores, for instance, have installed video games, which may tempt parents to leave their children there while they shop. DON'T!

5.) In a car
The next time you go someplace where people expect to run in and out, such as a bank, post office, or convenience store, look in the parking lot and see how many parents leave their children in their car while they do business inside. Worse yet, many times the car is left running, leaving the children completely vulnerable to an abductor jumping in the car and driving off with them. Never leave children unattended in the car, even if your just running in the post office just to mail a letter. Circumstances might arise- for instance, you might begin a conversation with an old friend, the lines might be longer than you thought, or whatever - that stretches your planned 30-second absence from the car into 5 or more minutes. Take the children with you inside. It might cost you some extra time, but you wont be running the risk of loosing your children.

6.) In the front yard
Because it's close to the street and a quick getaway route, the front yard posses a convenient target for abductors. Additionally, parents often feel safe knowing the children "are just outside playing." But we recently heard of an incident not an eighth of a mile from our house where several four-year-old children were approached by a stranger while playing in their front yard. Only the intervention of a conscience adult, who spotted the incident and went to investigate, prevented a possible abduction attempt. If they must play in front, keep them away from the street. Tell them not to approach any cars that stop in front of the house, even if the person is only asking for directions. In such events, they are to get you immediately,  and you'll answer the adult's questions.

7.) Carnivals, Fairs, Amusement Parks, etc...
Children and their parents easily get separated at such events, and it's important to have a contingency plan so that your child doesn't panic and become an easy victim for an abductor. Point out where your child should go if he/she gets lost - a certain ride, attraction or booth - and instruct your child to wait for you there. Or, have your child go to a person of authority, such as an official of the site and have you paged.

8.) In public restrooms
Your child should be taught never to visit a public rest room alone, only when accompanied by an adult or a group of children. Stress that he/she should not speak with anyone while there, and he/she should not loiter in the area.

9.) When your child is lost
Since children do get lost, they should be instructed how to react in such situations. Be certain that your child knows his/her complete name, address and phone number and teach your child what to do in the event he/she does become disoriented and unable to find his way home. Fire houses, police departments, and stores are places he can go to and call home for a ride. Your child should not accept a ride from any other adult without your permission.

10.) Hitchhiking
This rule should be written in stone: under no circumstances is your child allowed to hitchhike. Make a pact with your child, - no matter what their age - to call you for a ride rather than have your child hitchhike home. If your child is abducted by a hitchhiker there are several factors which diminish the chances for a quick a successful search: firstly, you may not know about the disappearance for hours; secondly, you have no idea where the abductor might have taken your child, unless someone spotted the incident and remembered which direction they went; and thirdly, police may have no immediate clues to help them in solving the abduction because of the lack of information.

11.) Cellular Phones
Keep in touch with your children! Because of the advancements in technology, today cellular phones are commonplace. If your child has a cellular phone it is easy to keep in touch with them. If in the event you are separated from them, you are only a phone call away and it reduces the chances of strangers approaching them. Also if your children are lost, or they need a ride, they do not need to roam in an unfamiliar or dangerous area to find a pay phone or to ask strangers.  



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Missing Children Project News Article Missing Children Prevention Techniques
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