Abduction and Kidnapping
Prevention Tips for Parents

Recent crimes against children, although a rare occurrence, have left many
parents frightened and unsure about how best to protect their children.
According to a study conducted by the Washington State Attorney General's
office for the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention, in 57 percent of the cases, the victims of child-
abduction murder are victims of opportunity.

The tips noted below will help parents lessen the opportunity for abduction and
kidnapping and better safeguard their children.

  • Teach your children to run away from danger, never towards it. Danger is
    anyone or anything that invades their personal space. Teach them to yell
    loudly. Their safety is more important than being polite. Teach your
    children that if they are ever followed in a car to turn around and run in
    the other direction to you or a trusted adult.
  • Never let your children go places alone, and always supervise your young
    children or make sure there is a trusted adult present to supervise them if
    you cannot. Make sure your older children always take a friend when they
    go somewhere.
  • Know where and with whom your children are at all times. Remind children
    never to take anything or respond in any way if approached by someone
    they don't know. Teach them to run away as quickly as they can to you or
    a trusted adult.
  • Talk openly to your children about safety and encourage them to tell you
    or a trusted adult if anyone or anything makes them feel frightened,
    confused, or uncomfortable. Discuss security issues with your children so
    that they will understand the need for precautions. Advise your older
    children about steps they can take to help safeguard themselves. Know
    your children's friends and their families. Pay attention to your children
    and listen to them. If you don't, there's always someone else who will.
  • Practice what you teach by creating "what if" scenarios with your children
    to make sure they understand the safety message and can use it in a real
  • Consider installing an alarm system in your home with a monitoring
    feature. Make sure your home is secured with deadbolt locks, and ensure
    that landscaping around it doesn't provide places for people to hide.

1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)