Child Safety Against Abduction

All parents want to keep their kids safe and secure and are naturally nervous of strangers and the possibility of their child being abducted. The Supernanny website offers these safety tips…

Young people are more likely to be the victims of theft and assault than any other age group. They’re also generally reluctant to report a crime committed against them.

You should ask them to tell you if they are in trouble or need advice. Make sure they know the risks of what they are doing and the choices that they make.

Children and strangers

  • Teach your children not to talk to strangers 
  • Set up a code word with your children in the event of an emergency. Your child should know the code word and its importance 
  • If a stranger does approach your child tell them to try and remember as many details as possible about the stranger and their vehicle 
  • Don't assume it was nothing and forget what your child has told you. Call your local police and report any suspicious behavior 
  • Talk with your children and see if your local school or police are teaching your children about the dangers strangers can pose. If not, check with your local police and request that they speak to the students 
  • Teach your child how to use the telephone and how to call for the police, 911 or 999

Travelling to and from school

  • When travelling to and from school it is important to remain aware of your surroundings at all times. The following advice may prove useful:
    Trust your instincts
  • Take the route you know best and stick to busy streets 
  • Avoid danger spots like subways or badly lit areas 
  • If possible, travel with a friend 
  • Stay alert 
  • Walk towards oncoming traffic 
  • Think about your route home. Plan for any eventuality 
  • Carry a personal attack alarm. They are not expensive and you will feel more confident 
  • Carry a charged mobile phone on you at all times 
  • Have your parents' numbers saved in the phone in case you need to contact them 
  • If you are followed, report it to police or an adult. If you start to be frightened, breathe slowly and don’t panic.
  • Try and think clearly and plan around the situation 
  • Never accept a lift with a stranger or someone you don’t know very well

Children travelling by bus or train

  • Often children will want to - or may have to - travel alone. The following advice will assist in keeping them safe and out of harm’s way: 
  • Try to sit near the driver or guard and make sure you have a good view of the interior of the bus or train 
  • Always wait for a bus or train in a safe and well-lit area 
  • Look for carriages on trains with lots of people in them. Try and stay on the lower deck of the bus close to the driver 
  • Take note of where the emergency alarms are located on the train or bus 
  • Have your travel pass or the correct change ready 
  • Carry extra money in case you get stranded and need to take another bus or train or call for a lift 
  • Try to get someone to meet you if you are going to be alone when you reach your destination

Children travelling on foot

  • Some people feel vulnerable when travelling on foot. Thinking ahead enables you to avoid possible dangers.
  • Try to keep both hands free 
  • Always take the route you know best 
  • Avoid danger spots like quiet or badly lit alleyways, subways or isolated car parks 
  • Don’t walk the streets with a walkman or iPod on. You will not be aware of what is going on around you
  • Have a mobile phone or spare change on you should you need to make a phone call 
  • If you are concerned, try to walk with a friend or stay near a group of people 
  • Do not accept lifts from strangers 
  • Do not have the name of your child written in large letters on his or her school bag. A stranger could call out the child's name to gain his or her confidence.

What to do if you feel threatened

  • Your voice is one of your best forms of defense. Don’t be embarrassed to make as much noise as possible to attract attention and assistance 
  • If a situation makes you feel uneasy, try to get away at once 
  • Don’t panic, breathe slowly and think clearly about how to react 
  • If you are on a bus or train you can press the alarm 
  • You could also phone the emergency services in the area where you live

Related links

  • Treating Burns and Scalds: The Parent Company explain what to do if your child is burnt, and answer some common questions about burn treatment.
  • Road Safety for Children: Road crashes are the biggest killer of 12-24 year-olds in the UK. The Supernanny Team and BRAKE bring you life-saving tips to teach your child about road safety.

Find out more

  • Red 24 can offer advice on security issues affecting your home and familty.

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