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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How To Talk To Kids About Abductions

(Flickr/mpimentel001)

(Flickr/mpimentel001)

The discovery of three Cleveland women, who went missing for about a decade after being abducted, has parents thinking about how to protect their own kids.

According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, about 58,000 children are abducted every year by non-family members who know the child. Most of those kids are found.

But 115 children a year are kidnapped by people with no ties to the family and most of them never make it home.

Experts say that we are long past the stage of talking about “stranger danger,” since most abductions involve someone who knows the child.

Nancy McBride, the Center’s national safety director, says one of the most important things a child can do to stay safe is to stay away from people in cars.

She says if an adult is trying to get a child near their car, something is wrong.

“Once you get in a car, everything changes,” McBride said.

How To Talk To Children About Abductions

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children offers these conversation starters that parents can use to communicate with their kids:

Kids (ages 5-8)

  • Could you tell me our address? How about our home number? My work number? My cell phone number?
  • Has anyone ever called or knocked on the door while I was gone? What did you do?
  • Let’s make a list of 3 people whom you can call in case of an emergency.

Tweens (ages 9-12)

  • Can you tell me my work number? My cell phone number?
  • What would you do if someone knocked on the door while I was gone?
  • Who would you call if you had an emergency?

Teens (ages 13 to 17)

  • If you are home alone, how would you respond if someone came to the door? What would you do if someone knocked on the door and I wasn’t home?
  • Who would you call if you had an emergency?

More Conversation Starters To Educate Kids About Kidnapping

Take 25 Campaign: Spend 25 minutes talking about child safety

Guest:

  • Nancy McBride, national safety director for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

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