Creating a safe world for your child where they can walk and play freely is something that all parents want, but there is only so much you can do to keep them safe. Here are handy tips to prevent them from being a victim.
Have a family code or safety plan
According to Fact Check Africa, 866 children were reported as missing to the police. This means that every 10 hours, on average, a child goes missing which is a chilling statistic that no parent would wish their child to be a part of.
There are ways that you can prevent them from being abducted such as creating a safe word or a safety plan with them. Having transparent conversations with your child(ren) can also make it easier when it comes to them telling you when they are in trouble. Always know about their whereabouts by asking them where they are going to play or spend their time when they leave the house.
Get a phone number of the person they are going to see
Try to get the number of the person they are going to see or their friend's parent's number to know if they have arrived safely. It is also possible to track your child's movements through certain apps but make sure to check the app reviews and if it is verified as kidnappers can use such apps against you.
Encourage them to walk in groups
There is strength in numbers. Encourage your child to walk in a group than alone to avoid being isolated as a target. Having a trusted family member walk them to and from their destination can also protect them from becoming a target.
Know who they are travelling with
Always know who is picking up your child from one destination and dropping them at the next. Tell your child about who will be fetching them and inform the adult who is watching them about who is fetching them. It will help you and your child avoid any confusion or to have people posing as a friend or family member.
Make online safety a priority
We love to share our special moments and our lives online with our friends and family, but it has also opened a door for predators to track our lives. Knowing how to be careful online and informing your child on how to be careful can save you from a lot of problems later. Be careful not to share information such as your running routes, personal information, or pictures of your child that can give insightful information about them.
Teach them important numbers to remember
Helping your child learn important numbers and their home address or a trusted friend or family member's address can help your child when they are lost. Avoid letting your children wear clothing that has their name on it as this can make it easier for a stranger to call them and pretend to know them.