The following tips are from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They are designed for parents to discuss with their children now that school is back in session.
In addition, the is also calling on parents to take note of these discussion topics:
- Travel with a friend or better yet a group of friends when riding your bike or walking to or from school or other destinations.
- If a stranger offers you a ride somewhere say no and run away. Adults should define "stranger" and give safety tip examples to help youth know what you mean.
- If someone follows you on foot get away as quickly as you can. Go to someone's house you know or run to other people, or just run away.
- If someone is following you in a car, turn around and go in the opposite direction or take a path where a car would not go.
- Never leave school or any other extracurricular activity or event with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable. Moms or dads should tell their youngster(s) that it is okay in these circumstances to not ride home, but that also means adults should have an established communications method along with these safety tip guidelines so that the kids do not end up stranded or alone.
- If a stranger tells you that there is an emergency or that a family member is hurt or that a pet has been in an accident, always check with your mom or dad or other trusted adults. This is a common trick used by many molesters or kidnappers.
For more information about safety tips contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the , or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- Adults should establish "safe houses" where kids feel comfortable knocking on their door at any time a situation warrants it. Be sure to get approval from the neighbors/ homeowners first before designating a home as a "safe house." If possible, have a neighborhood safety tip meeting and have residents agree to watch out for one another.
- Parents should be cautious about blatant use of a child's name on a backpack or jacket. Kids sometimes believe that a person can't be a stranger if they know them by name, when the reality is that their name is easily readable on their attire or the individual heard a youngster's name mentioned.
- Adults should understand that boys are at just as great a risk as girls. It is a common safety tip misconception that child molesters or perpetrators are typically men and seek only girls. Molesters come in all ages and both genders, and their victims can be of either sex.
- Parents should begin reinforcing these safety tips as soon as a kid is old enough to understand, and above all, ensure that their child feels comfortable enough in discussing these issues, their concerns or fears, or any potentially inappropriate events that have possibly transpired. Awareness of these safety tips can help kids be less susceptible to any stranger dangers.