Ideas on how to prevent an abduction

As of recent quite a few people have been asking me on how could we prevent our child from being abducted, probably with the 2010 World Cup and all the awareness being created around the possibility of your child being abducted.

Well, it got me thinking, and I am also a concerned parent of 4 children, and I would like suggest a few things, here they are:-

  1. Know where your child is and know who they are with. if the people you are leaving your child with will be travelling, get the FULL details of their ternary and movements. Where, when, how long and what time are the questions you should be asking.
  2. Never leave your child alone in a public place, stroller or car. This should be common sense, but, unfortunately we often find ourselves just quickly jumping out the car for something at the cafe or shop, and we leave our little ones in the car. DON'T DO IT. Make sure your are always within grabbing distance of your child in a public place.
  3. Always accompany your child to a public restroom. Be aware of any suspicious activity around the public areas.
  4. Teach your child to never accept gifts, rides or money from strangers. Teach your child what a stranger means, just because they know their names does not mean that they are not strangers anymore. My 7 year old, Jessica was speaking to a "stranger" at the shops when she was about 5. I confronted her and said she mustn't talk to strangers, she turned around and, "Oh, he is not a stranger, his name is......". I was shocked as I realised that her interpretation of a stranger ended when she knew their name.
  5. Establish a routine for picking your child up from school and other activities. As you hold all know, routines are good for children, they will become "suspicious" if this routine is program.
  6. Make sure your child knows their full name, address and phone number.
  7. Make sure that your child knows how to reach you (cell numbers and work numbers).
  8. Teach your child to always stay in groups. Groups are a very good deterrent for any attempt of abduction.
  9. Teach your child how to call the police. possibly equip your child with a whistle, to blow in an emergency, noise and attention always defuses at potential threat.
  10. Teach your child what to do if lost in a shopping centre. All my kids know that if they do get lost in a shop, they must stand dead still until I find them. They do not leave with anybody, not even security. I then have a very good recovery and rescue plan that is built around that. It works for me and my wife, it could work for you.

I hope the above points will help some of you, maybe you have some other good ideas as well, please share them with us.