17 Ways to Protect Your Child From Predators
1. Always know where child is and who they are with. This includes not leaving them in a running car. Also, if you leave them alone at home, make sure they know how to answer the phone, saying that their parents are busy and can’t come to the phone, never telling that they are alone. They should also observe strict rules about not letting strangers in. They do not need even to answer the door.
2. Let them know it is okay to say no to adults.
3. Teach your children the basics of stranger danger and involve them in seminars and classes. Quiz your child on the lures that pedophiles use every few months. Remember, telling them not to talk to strangers is not enough. Pedophiles are very sneaky and have many techniques for getting close to children. If you do not know these lures, contact our school and we can give you a list.
4. If a child is grabbed by an adult, there is very little that they can physically do outside or poking the eye and running. The most effective thing they can do is to call the attention of other adults by yelling “Help, help, this is not my parent!” Pedophiles have been reported to grab a child, the child starts yelling, and the predator say, “Just wait til we get home.” Witnesses believe it is a parent with a misbehaving child.
5. Teach your child about the internet and monitor them closely. Make sure the computer faces an open area where you can check on them at anytime. There are Parental Filtering Utilities to control what your children are exposed to when they use the computer. Some of these are: Net Nanny, Surf Watch, Watch Dog, Web Chaperone, X-Stop, Cyber Patrol, and Cyber Snoop.
6. Raise your child’s confidence through constant encouragement. Be careful about how often and how strongly you criticize them. One great way to help your child is to get your child training in a martial arts class. Martial arts develops confidence, awareness, and will reinforce and often teach basic stranger safety.
7. Give your child love and affection. Children who are lonely and desire affection are easier targets for pedophiles.
8. Teach your child about good touch and bad touch. The general rule is to tell them that if anyone touches them in an area that their bathing suit covers, that is bad touch.
9. Keep open communication with your child. Let them know that it is really important to let you know about anything out of the ordinary going on. If they find anything strange, if anyone talks to them, if they saw something strange- anything out of the ordinary. Watch for changes in your child’s behavior. Many children will not share things that are going on because they are embarrassed or are afraid they will be punished. Especially let them know that if anyone threatens them, they MUST tell you. Pedophiles will often tell the children that they will hurt them and their family if they tell what had happened.
10. Develop and use code words. Most children who are abducted are taken by someone they know. An abductor will simply tell your child, “Your parent is hurt; I will take you to them”. When your child hears this, he/she will likely relax their guard and leave with the person, even though they may hardly recognize them. To prevent this possibility, the parent needs to give their child a “code word” that only the parents and the child know. If the parent wants someone to pickup the child, that person is given the code word to use. Once you give decide on a code word, it is a good idea to change it from time to time. You need to make certain that what ever word is used, it is easily remembered by you and your child.If someone tries to pick them up and does not know the code word, they should try to contact you and wait until you arrive.
11. Teach your children about safety in a balanced way. Let them know that most people in the world are good, but there are a rare few who want to hurt others. Tell them that you love them and want them to know what to do if they met one of these people. But remind them that the chances are small. You do not want them to develop paranoia and live in fear.
12. Make sure your child can recite their full address and their phone number, including area code.
13. In the case of an emergency, teach your child the 911 ABC’s:
- Pickup the phone and dial 911
- Tell the person who answers, where you are and what is wrong
- Don’t hang up until the person tells you to
14. There are several things that children must do when walking alone:
- Look confident and hold your head up high and look around.
- Don’t walk near alleys or the ends of buildings without checking them out. Cross the street if possible to avoid them.
- Avoid vans or delivery trucks where someone could be hiding to reach out and grab the child.
- Children should never walk through parking lots by themselves.
- Always walk with a friend or someone you know.
- Never walk alone after dark.
- When coming home, check out the house as you approach to make sure it looks safe.
- Look to see if there are any strange cars or vehicles parked in the driveway or on the street nearby. If there is, then go to the neighbor and tell them why you are afraid and have them call the police to check out the house.
- If you see a door open or a window open that shouldn’t be, go to a neighbor’s house and tell them what you’ve found and let them call the police.
- Once you are safely inside the house, lock all of the doors and make sure the windows are locked.
15. Children should never answer the door or open it when home alone. They can look out the window or through a peep-hole to see who is at the door. If it is someone they don’t know then call can 911 and tell the police that they are home alone and there is a stranger at your door. Let them check it out.
16. When answering the telephone, make sure that they NEVER tell the person calling that they are home alone. Tell them to tell the caller that your parents are busy and that you will take a message for them to call back later.
17. As a family, you should have a plan of action if someone tries to break into the house when the child is home alone. Work out the plan so that everyone knows where there is a safe place to hide. Make sure that a telephone is placed in or near the hiding place. If possible, use a cellular telephone so that the child can call 911 if the predator cuts the regular phone lines.