The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is an organization that’s been chosen by Congress as the nation’s authority on issues that pertain to missing and exploited children. They’ve performed a study that provides insight into matters regarding missing and exploited children.
Around 35 percent of attempted abductions of children happen when they’re traveling to and from school, or school-related activities. The children who successfully escaped abduction utilized some life-saving skills that are important for all children to know.
The NCMEC study showed that the children who were most successful at escaping were usually girls between the ages of 10 and 14.
•53 percent walked or ran away from the suspect.
•28 percent yelled, kicked, pulled away or attracted attention.
•19 percent involved a Good Samaritan or parent rescuing the child.
Some of the most common things used to abduct children were offering a ride or candy. Some abductors will do such things as ask children a question, offer them money or use an animal as a way to lure them into a vehicle.
During 72 percent of abduction cases the suspect was in a vehicle, and approximately one-third of the attempted abductions happened between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. It seems abductors believe this is when children are least likely to be supervised.
NCMEC has developed 10 Safety Tips to Prevent Child Abductions
1. Children should be taught to always TAKE A FRIEND when walking or biking, and stay with a group while standing at a bus stop. It’s important the child know which bus to ride.
2. Parents should walk the route to and from school with their children and point out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help. All children need to be taught to NEVER TAKE SHORTCUTS, and always stay in areas with good lighting.
3. It is NOT safe for younger children to walk to and from school even with a group. This is true especially if they have to take isolated routes anytime during the day or in darkness. Proper supervision should always be provided for young children for their trip to and from school.
4. Children need to know if anyone bothers them, makes them feel scared or uncomfortable to trust their feelings and immediately get away from that person. Teach them it’s okay not to be polite in this situation and IT IS OKAY FOR THEM TO SAY NO.
5. Children should be taught that if anyone tries to take them somewhere, they should RESIST by kicking, screaming and trying to run away. They need to know this is a time to DRAW ATTENTION by yelling “This person is trying to take me away” or “This person is not my father/mother.”
6. Children need to be taught to NOT TO ACCEPT A RIDE from anyone unless their parent has said it is okay. If anyone follows them in a vehicle, they should turn around, go in the other direction and run to a trusted adult who can help them.
7. Children should be taught that grownups are not supposed to ASK CHILDREN FOR DIRECTIONS. They should ask other adults.
8. Children should be taught to NEVER ACCEPT MONEY OR GIFTS from anyone unless their parent has said it’s okay.
9. It is very important for parents to make certain their child’s school always has the most current and accurate emergency contact information on file. Parents should verify who is authorized to pick their children up.
10. Parents should always know where their children are or will be at all times. Children should be taught to CHECK FIRST, before changing plans before or after school. They need to know it’s never okay to leave school with anyone unless they CHECK WITH THEIR PARENTS FIRST, or another trustworthy adult. This should be the rule even if someone tells them it’s an emergency.
In an August 30, 2012 press release John Ryan, CEO of NCMEC is quoted as saying “We know that teaching children about safety makes a difference, and we encourage parents and guardians to talk to their children so they know what to do in a real life situation. Teach your children to recognize and get out of dangerous or uncomfortable situations right away, and practice basic safety skills with them.”
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
OTHER ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR
Top Children’s Hospitals for Specialty Care and Overall Care
America’s Top 75 Kid-Friendly Restaurants
A Diet with Fish Can Improve a Child’s Learning and Development