Preventing Child Abductions

Child abduction is a big concern for all moms; and while it’s a child safety topic that can create a lot of fear and worry for you, it’s important to be able to strike the right balance of preparing your child to stay safe without instilling her with apprehension. Our guide on child abduction prevention gives you useful tips on how to teach your child to stay safe.

Child Abduction Statistics

While kidnapping is featured on the news, movies and television programs, the media often gives us a distorted perception regarding child abduction facts.

Each day, 2100 missing child reports are filed in the United States. Here are more facts about the reality of child abductions in the U.S.:

  • the majority of kids reported as missing have runaway from home or there was a miscommunication between child and parent about the child’s whereabouts
  • the majority of abducted kids are kidnapped by a family member or acquaintance; 25% of children are kidnapped by strangers
  • nearly two-thirds of all children who are abducted are girls while almost all abductors are men
  • the majority of abducted children are in their teens
  • abductions rarely take place on school grounds

Tips on Preventing Abductions

Teaching Your Child About Strangers
As a parent, it’s important to remember that you can equip your child with the tools they need to stay safe with these child abduction prevention strategies:

  • teach your child not to accept candy or gifts from strangers
  • teach your child not to go anywhere with someone they don’t know. For example, some abductors will try to lure children by asking them questions like “Can you help me look for my lost dog?” or “Do you want to see the cute kittens that I have in my car?”
  • tell your child to run and scream if a stranger tries to take them somewhere
  • tell your child that it is okay to say no if a stranger wants to do something that makes them uncomfortable or that they know is wrong such as touching them
  • ensure that your child asks permission to leave the yard or play area or to go someone’s house
  • ensure your child knows his name, address, phone number, an emergency contact number and 911
  • teach your child which homes in the neighborhood he can go to if he’s in trouble

Child Safety Tips for Moms
In addition, you as a parent can follow these parenting tips to ensure that your child stays safe:

  • if you are divorced, ensure that your custody documents are in order
  • maintain your child’s identity photos, copies of your child’s dental records, medical files and fingerprinting records (if available in your county)
  • supervise your child in public places such as public bathrooms, parks, malls, movies and in such scenarios as door to door fundraising
  • if you are hiring a babysitter, au pair or a nanny, be sure to thoroughly check their references and consider doing a police check
  • avoid dressing your child in clothes which have their name on it as children are more likely to trust adults who know their names