we advise strongly that you remind your children of the following:
- A stranger is ANYONE they don’t know;
- They should not wear any type of headphones while outside; this will make them oblivious to any vehicle or person stalking them;
- They should never get into anyone’s car without a parent’s permission;
- They should never take candy or gifts from a stranger.
- They should never help strangers, no matter how sympathetic they might appear, because adults should NOT ask kids to do things that other adults can do for them;
- They should run away from a car that pulls up beside them if they don’t know the driver;
- They should never invite people into their home without a parent’s permission;
- When in doubt, they should scream as loud as they can to attract attention;
- They should tell an adult if a stranger is taking a picture of them.
Here is a checklist for parents:
- Keep a recent photo of your child, his or her fingerprints, and a current record of his or her height and weight;
- Keep your cellular phone charged up;
- Make a mental note of what your child is wearing every day;
- Carefully check babysitter and child care references;
- Know your child’s friends’ names, addresses and phone numbers;
- Designate a neighbor’s home as a “safe house” where your child can go if you’re not home;
- Use your cellphone to take photos of any suspicious vehicle or person, and do not hesitate to report either to the Police.
Although many of these guidelines may seem obvious, they all bear repeating and their importance being emphasized. Even if you do not have young children in your home, please be alert to any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, use your cellphone to take photos, and always report anything of concern to the Police. And if you hear a child’s scream, please don’t dismiss it!
Remember that indifference and complacency are as much of a threat to our children’s safety as are the people who would do them harm. If we all pay attention to our surroundings and care about our neighbors, we can minimize the chance that those miscreants might succeed.