Child Abduction Prevention Tips

Child Abuse Hotline - 1-3-1 (Tel1) or 800-4321 (Tel2)



Child Abduction Prevention Tips
April 12, 2005 10:18 am, Islandevents.com

Kidnappings seem to have become the norm in Trinidad and Tobago, which is now facing an escalating crime situation. No one can know the horrors faced by the families of the kidnap victims or the sorrow of those whose loved ones have never returned home. Children are easy prey for kidnappers, due to their naturally trusting nature. Every parent deals with this fear from the moment their children leave the house until they are back home safe and sound. While there are no guarantees, there are some precautions parents can take to ensure that their children are safe.
 
  • Never assume your child will not be abducted - always act as though it could happen.
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  • Establish solid communication with your child. Develop open dialogue so he/she can confide in you in case of trouble.
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  • Never leave young children unattended (at home, in a parked car, shopping cart or in a public restroom).
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  • Make certain your child knows his/her full name, your name, address and telephone number, including area code. Teach him/her to use the telephone and always have important emergency number on hand.
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  • Have pictures taken yearly. For preschoolers, pictures should be updated quarterly.
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  • Keep records of fingerprints, footprints, dental and doctor information, birthmarks and birth certificates. You should keep copies of x-rays as hospitals do not keep such records for more than a few years.
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  • Tell baby-sitters or friends caring for the child not to let your child go with anyone but you.
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  • Teach your child to avoid people they don't know.
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  • Explain to your child that a stranger is someone they do not know, nor do you.
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  • Teach your child that adults usually do not ask children for directions. If someone should stop in a car asking directions, tell your child not to go to the car.
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  • Have your child practice the buddy system until old enough that this system is not necessary.
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  • Caution your child not to play in deserted places. There is safety in numbers.
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  • Teach your child the facts of abduction early. If handled simply as another fact of life - another coping skill - children need not be inordinately frightened by the idea of abduction.
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  • Establish strict procedures regarding who will pick up your child from school and be meticulously consistent.
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  • Have your school establish a "School Call Back Program" and visitor check-in policies.
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  • Teach your child never to go anywhere with anyone who doesn't know a family "Code" word.
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  • Make sure that your child does not have his/her name on a visible place such as clothing or belongings. It makes it harder for strangers to be on a first name basis with your child.
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  • Know as much as possible about your ex-spouse and his/her friends and relatives. Pay attention to threats of stealing the child. Watch for attitude changes and/or unstable behavior in your ex-spouse. Be aware of how a life-style change by you or your spouse might affect him/her.
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  • Explain to your child that if they are home alone not to open the door for anyone except previously designated persons. This includes a salesperson or delivery person.
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  • Teach your child never to answer the telephone and tell anyone that he/she is home alone. If someone should call, instruct your child to make a prepared statement such as, "Daddy/Mommy cannot come to the phone right now... can I take a message."
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  • Teach older children to come home before dark.
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  • Remind older children to phone home.
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  • Know who your child's friends are, where they live, and their telephone numbers.
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  • Beware of any adult that showers your child with an inordinate amount of attention and/or presents. No one should care more about your child than you.
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  • Be aware that a pedophile is usually an adult whose sexual preference is confined to youngsters. The classic pedophile preys on runaways or children from unhappy homes. He showers the child with affection. By the time sexual activity takes place, the child is often an uncomplaining partner and it goes unreported. Please show your child appropriate affection.
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  • Teach your child that if they are being followed not to hide behind bushes, but to go where there are people or to a safe house.
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  • Teach your child that it is appropriate to "make a scene" if he/she senses danger from an adult. Teach him/her to yell "HELP!", or "I DON'T KNOW YOU!" not just scream.
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    Tips courtesy the Hendersonville Police Department...website: http://www.hendersonville-pd.org




    Child Abuse Hotline - 1-3-1 (Tel1) or 800-4321 (Tel2)


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