Education and Prevention
What Children Need To Know
- Know his/her full name, as well as your name, address and telephone number, including area code. Children should know how to use a phone.
- Never say they’re alone when answering the phone – instead, offer to take a message or say their parents will be back shortly.
- Never answer the door if alone. Never invite anyone in the house without permission of a parent or baby-sitter.
- Limit public profile settings on social media and online gaming platforms.
- Never give out personal information to strangers while utilizing social media and online gaming platforms.
- Never agree to meet anyone from social media or online gaming that they did not already know in real life.
- Never take candy or gifts from strangers or anyone else without asking a parent first.
- Never play in deserted buildings or isolated areas.
- Move away from cars that pull up beside them if they do not know the driver.
- Know that no one should touch any part of his or her body.
- Avoid shortcuts through empty parks, fields, laneways or alleys.
- Run home or go to the nearest public place if they are being followed and yell for help.
- Tell you if someone has asked them to keep a secret from you.
- Tell you where they are at all times or leave a message at home.
- Give up money, jewelry or clothing rather than fight.
- Know they can talk to you and call you to pick them up at any time.
What Parents Need To Know
- Avoid clothing and toys with your child’s name on it. A child is less likely to fear someone who knows his/her name.
- Check all potential baby-sitters and older friends of your child. Never leave your child alone in a public place, stroller or car, even for a minute.
- Always accompany young children to the bathroom in public places.
- Always accompany your child on door-to-door activities.
- Create an environment where a child feels safe to talk to you. Let him/her know that you are interested and sensitive to their fears.
- Teach children that the police are their friends and that they can rely on them if they are in trouble.
- Keep an up-to-date color photograph of your child, a medical and dental history, and have your child fingerprinted.
- Stay involved in your child’s life by communicating daily to prevent your child from running away.
Preventative Child Kits
We highly recommend parents take preventative measures such utilizing a child kit like the one provided by the National Child Identification Program. The kits are designed to be kept by the parents, and then handed over to law enforcement in the instance that your child goes missing. The information contained in the kit allows law enforcement to more quickly and accurately identify your child during those first crucial hours and days.
Child Kits Include:
- Components to take inkless fingerprints.
- Cards for detailing your child’s physical description, including a body map for pointing out scars, birthmarks, and other identifying features.
- A place to keep current photos.
- More recently, an easy-to-use swab to take and store a small DNA sample.