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.

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.