According to an article in Parents magazine, “every 40 seconds in the United States, a child becomes missing or is abducted.”
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (citing U.S. Department of Justice reports), nearly 800,000 children are reported missing each year. That’s more than 2,000 a day. The NCMEC says 203,000 children are kidnapped each year by family members.
It is every parent’s worst nightmare, and it doesn’t take much time to abscond with your child. Even if you believe a place to be safe, all it takes is a minute, and your little one could be gone.
Don’t let this happen to your child at the beach (or anywhere else). Here are a few things to consider so that you don’t fall victim to this devastating scenario.
Tips for Parents
- Always keep your kids in sight. Never let them get too far, even just for a second. If your children are playing with others away from you, make sure you know how to find or contact them at all times.
- Warn your children to avoid strangers and never to follow them anywhere. Question and monitor anyone who takes an unusual interest in your children. Have your children practice their most annoying scream in case it is needed.
- Have your little ones wear bright and easily identifiable clothing. This will help you spot them faster if they get caught in a crowd or wander off by accident.
- Don’t ever leave children unattended in a vehicle, whether it is running or not.
Tips for Children
- Know your contact information: name, address, and phone number(s).
- Learn how and when to call 911.
- If you are scared of someone, RUN to safety.
- Avoid shortcuts when you are walking from one place to another.
- Fight back if a stranger ever picks you up to carry you away. Scream, kick, bite and FIGHT as hard as you can to get away! NEVER trust what the person tells you.