One of the most important conversations parents can have with their children is how to stay safe if they are ever in a dangerous situation—walking home from school, playing at the park or somehow getting separated from them.
In Ponce Inlet, a 16-year-old girl was able to thwart being abducted as she was walking to her bus stop.
The girl told police that the man stopped his car and tried to grab her and cover her mouth. She screamed and was able to bite and scratch the man, who later drove off.
It could be rare that a child would have to encounter or use any of the tips below, but they would be armed with the knowledge to get them to safety.
1. If someone tries to get you to go with them or grabs you, fight back. Manners are out the window, in this case. You need to make a scene to draw attention to the fact that you are in trouble and that you need help. Question the person: Who are you? You are not my mom or dad? Help! I need help. The most important thing they should be striving for is to get away from danger and find a safe place immediately.
2. If a child is being followed by a car, make sure to run in the opposite direction of the car that is following you. This could buy them time, if the car decided to turn around and drive after them.
3. Never, never, never get into the car of someone that you do not know or walk anywhere with a person that you do not know. It is not safe to separate from your parents or guardians. In the event of a child separates from a guardian or parent find a parent with children and walk with them. A police officer may not always be around, if they get lost.
4. An adult should never be asking you for your help or to go anywhere with them.
5. While many strangers could have an appearance that looks suspicious many could look totally normal and a child is not to trust anyone.
6. If your child is ever in danger make sure you develop a code word with them that only the family knows. If they are ever in danger, they should scream the word to alert you that they need your help.