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Child Safety

30 Ways To Prevent Child Abduction

Child abduction is a growing concern in Canada, so it's good to know there are simple precautions you can take to help safeguard your children. The help you can offer a young child is somewhat different from what is useful for an older child. Here are some suggestions:

Young Children Should:

  • Never say they are alone if they answer the phone - they can offer to take a message or say their parents are busy but will phone back.
  • Never answer the door if they are alone.
  • Not invite anyone into the house without the permission of a parent or babysitter.
  • Not go to a friend's house without letting anyone know where they are .
  • Not go into people's houses that they don't know without a parent or babysitter.
  • Never get into anyone's car without permission from their parents
  • Not take candy or other gifts from strangers or anyone else without asking a parent first for permission.
  • Never play in deserted buildings or isolated areas.
  • Scream and scatter books and belongings if they are forced towards a building or a car.
  • Move away from a car that pulls up beside them.
  • Know their telephone number and address.
  • Know that it's all right to say "No" to an adult or anyone else if the person wants them to do something you've taught them is wrong.
  • Go to the nearest cashier or other worker if lost or separated from you in a store or mall.

Older Children/Teens Should:

  • Tell you where they are at all times or leave a written or recorded message at home.
  • Never hitchhike anywhere they are trying to go.
  • Avoid shortcuts through empty parks, fields, laneways or alleyways.
  • Run home or go to the nearest public place and yell for help if they are being followed.
  • Learn to recognize suspicious behaviour and remember a description of the person or vehicle to give a parent or the police. Write the plate number in the dirt or snow if nothing else is available.
  • If attacked for money, jewelry or clothing, give it up rather than risk injury.
  • Feel that they can talk to their parents and to be able to call a parent to pick them up at any time any place.

PARENTS SHOULD:

  • Avoid clothing and toys with your child's name on it. A child is less likely to fear someone who knows his/her name and may not realize that's where the person has learned it from.
  • Check all potential babysitters and older friends of your child.
  • Never leave your child alone in a public place, stroller or car, not even for a minute.
  • Always accompany young children to the bathroom in a public place and advise them never to play in or around the area.
  • Always accompany your child on door-to-door activities such as Halloween, school fund-raising campaigns etc).
  • Point out safe houses or homes with the "Block Parent" sign where children can go if they are in trouble.