Hello everyone and welcome to our new blog. Working in conjunction with PreventAbduction.net, the goal of this blog is to inform parents and guardians about available resources to protect children against the threat of predators and abduction. Our blog posts will cover various topics, such as child safety tips, internet safety, child safety products, educational books and DVD's and more. As this blog evolves, we hope you will find it to be a valuable resource in developing a safety plan tailored to the needs of your family.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tip of the Week - Lost & Found

Teach your children that if they get lost in a store, they should find a security guard or cashier.  Under NO circumstances should they ask for help from another shopper or go near the front door or into the parking lot to look for you.

The image pictured above is an excerpt taken from our What If? book.  My What If? Book is full of great scenarios that teach your kids how to respond safely in a variety of situations while using fun, colorful pictures to grab their attention and start conversation.
To purchase the book, click here.
For more free tips, visit our website.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tip of the Week - Circle of Trust

Develop a list of trusted friends, relatives and/or teachers and explain to your child that these are adults that can be trusted in case of an emergency.  Teach your child that he/she should not ride or go with a person who is not one of the trusted adults.  You can also come up with a code word, teach it to your child and share it only with your trusted adults (see our tip on code words).  Our “What if?” Book provides a place for you to write in your list of trusted adults and review them with your child. 

For more tips go to our website.
To purchase your own "What If?" Book, go here

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tip of the Week- Safe Internet Behavior

As social media websites become increasingly prevalent among kids and teens, parents have a responsibility to take an active and instructive approach to informing their children about Internet safety. Talk to your kids about the longevity of the “digital footprint” that they leave behind while engaging in social networking. Help your kids establish good privacy settings on their personal profiles, like only allowing approved people to view their tweets on Twitter. Start having these conversations with your children when they are young. Here is an excellent article that highlights the role of parents in their children’s online lives: http://www.mobiledia.com/news/142955.html#

For more tips click here
Consider using our "What If?" Book as a resource for teaching your kids how to respond safely in dangerous situations using "what if?" scenarios. The book is available for purchase here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tip of the Week

Come up with a code word to share with friends that may need to pick up your children in case of an emergency.  Teach your child the code word through repetition, and reinforce that they should not ride or go with anyone who does not know the code word.  Our “What if” Book provides a place for you to write in your personal code words and review them with your child. 
For more tips go to http://www.preventabduction.net/.

Monday, September 17, 2012

DVD Review - "The Safe Side: Stranger Safety" created by John Walsh and Julie Clark (ages 4+)

This video provided a fun, and somewhat silly, stranger safety message. The video begins by introducing the viewer to Safe Side Superchick (“Safe Side”) who walks the children through 7 safety tips with child-appropriate humor and creative imagery. Safe Side is a little quirky at times, but she delivers a strong message that resonates with children. 

What I enjoyed most was that Safe Side did not use the word “stranger” during the entire video. I find it difficult to explain the concept of “stranger danger” to my 5 year old son. For example, in its purest form a “stranger” is defined as someone you do not know. My son understands the concept that someone he has never met before is a stranger, but classifying a “stranger” is not always so simple. How does your child understand that you can know who someone is but they can still be a “stranger” in the sense that they may pose a threat? My son asked me “Mommy is she a stranger?” pointing to the nice lady at the grocery store who works in the bakery and gives him a cookie on a weekly basis. He has also asked is “Mr. Smith a stranger?” of our neighbor who lives across the street who we know his name, and some basic information and waive to on a regular basis, but we do not really know a lot about him. These are situations when the lines can be blurry for a child. 

Safe Side helps define boundaries by using child-friendly words and everyday situations to explain how your child should respond. The situations range from a basic scenario when someone your child truly doesn’t know approaches her, to situations a little more uncertain – how to respond when someone your child “kind of knows” approaches her. 

I watched the DVD with my son. He was engaged for the entire video (approximately 30 minutes). Interestingly, he asked to watch it again immediately after it was over. Later that evening we experienced one of the situations Safe Side addressed – when the door bell rings and a parent is temporarily unavailable to answer the door. When the doorbell rang my son came running up to me and said “Mommy, the doorbell rang.” On the way to answer the door he said “Mommy, we never answer the door without our “Safe Side Adult.” In the days that followed, he continued to ask me questions about the video. The video effectively delivered an important message which led to engaging conversations with my son.
The total running time is 42 minutes and includes separate menu options of:
video, music video, and safety tips summary.

You can see a preview of The Safe Side Stranger Safety DVD on our videos page at www.PreventAbduction.net/PreventChildAbductionVideos.html. You can also purchase the DVD from that page.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Our Latest Tip for Parents

Our latest tip is one that can be used on a regular basis to educate your child about potentially threatening situations.  Several non-profits and government agencies suggest that parents and guardians use role play to reinforce good safety habits.  You can use “what if?” scenarios to present your child with potentially dangerous situations and teach them how to react in those situations.  One of the advantages of this teaching method is that you can customize the “what if?” scenarios to the specific circumstances that your child may encounter.  For example, if your child walks home from school, you can pose the following question:  “What if an unfamiliar car slows down or stops near you while you are walking home?”    

      Parents may also want to consider using our “What if?” Book to teach children how to handle potentially threatening situations.  You can preview pages of the book at www.MyWhatIfBook.com.  For more tips go to www.PreventAbduction.net.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Weekly Tip

Locate safe places in your neighborhood where your child can run if they feel threatened, such as the home of a trusted adult, a fire station or a police station.  Show your child those places and use role play to go over situations when they should run to a safe place. 

For more tips go to www.PreventAbduction.net/TipstoPreventAbduction.html.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Featured Free Child Safety Resource

Take a few minutes and check out this free download at TheGreatestSave.org.  The link will take you to the KinderVision Pre-K Kit - a fun and interactive way for parents to teach critical safety information to children under 5 using games, activities, and stories.  For more free resources, visit our Tips page.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our First Tip

Teach your children to trust their instincts.  If they feel threatened by a situation or the behavior of an adult, they should immediately run to a safe place and/or tell a trusted adult.  Reinforce that no one will be upset with them for protecting themselves when they are frightened.  Check back regularly for more tips or go to www.PreventAbduction.net/TipstoPreventAbduction.html.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our New Site for Parents

Approximately 2 ½ years ago, a little girl in our community went missing one afternoon when she was walking home from school.  Her body was found several days later in a landfill.  She was abducted by a man who lived in a house that she walked past every day on her way home from school.  It was heartbreaking to witness her mother’s pain and follow the news reports on the authorities’ efforts to find this little girl before she was harmed. 

As a child, my parents would always talk to me about the importance of not talking to strangers, not answering the telephone or opening the front door if I was home alone.  I will never forget when my parents made me watch the Adam Walsh movie to further educate me on the importance of not wandering off from them when we were out in public.  I think the Adam Walsh story really “hit home” for my parents since I was approximately the same age as Adam Walsh when he went missing.

As an adult, the news reports of the missing girl really “hit home” for me.  The story was local, and I was now a mother.  While my husband and I tearfully watched the news reports,  we discussed how unthinkable it would be to lose a child.  For a parent, there is no greater fear than losing a child, especially in such a senseless and disturbing way.

My husband and I started looking online for products and information available to protect and educate children on the threats posed by predators.  We found a wealth of tools and information previously unknown to us.  Unfortunately, we also discovered that locating these resources was like a lengthy research project.  The information was fragmented and scattered over various sites. There was no single destination where a parent could readily connect with tips to prevent abduction, educational materials and safety programs offered by non-profits, child safety books and DVD's, internet safety products, or child safety products like digital ID kits and locator devices.

We launched PreventAbduction.net and this companion blog to solve that problem and assist parents with developing a child abduction safety program specific to the needs of their children. In the coming weeks, we will begin to feature common tips for safeguarding children against predators and the threat of abduction. We will also begin posting reviews of child safety books and DVD's that you can share with your children, as well as information about products such as digital child identification kits and child locator devices.

We hope you will follow us on this journey, and we look forward to your comments and insight.

Thank you.