RIDGWAY – Child abduction not only occurs in big cities, but also in small towns. Although abductions have become less frequent, parents must remain vigilant to prevent them, according to Trooper Bruce Morris of the Pennsylvania State Police.
“Most abductors seize their victims when they believe that adult supervision is diminished or non-existent,” said Morris. He noted waiting for the school bus or walking home from school as two prime examples.
According to him, parents can use the following simple steps to keep their children safe. They include:
- teaching children to yell “no” or “this is not my mom/dad” while running away from an adult who scares them or who attempts to lure them. This, he said, will attract the attention of another adult who will assist them.
- avoiding clothing with the child’s name visible on the outside. He said a potential abductor may call out the child’s name and cause them to put their guard down.
- keeping recent photographs of your children on-hand to show law enforcement and others involved with a search.
- making sure children, if home alone, know not to inform anyone who calls or comes to the door that you’re not at home with them.
- ensuring children let you know of their whereabouts and who they are with. He said they should also let you know about any deviation from their travel plans.
- encouraging children, if not accompanied by an adult, to use a buddy system of two or more friends together.
- teaching children that they should never go anywhere with or approach a vehicle with an adult who they don’t know.
- setting up a “family password” that an adult would need to know in order for your children to go with them or to get into their car.