Keeping your children safe
2022-06-30 08:00 PDT
File # 2022
Since 2019, there have been 40,425 accounts of missing children in Canada. Of those, runaways accounted for the majority at 30,000, while 122 were abducted by a parent and 16 were stranger abductions. As a parent these statistics should reassure you, while at the same time, worry you.
The good news is that random child abductions are rare; the bad news is that it does happen. And when it does occur, there are often no immediate leads to turn to. The reasons for abducting a child vary. It could be for sexual purposes, a desire to harm the child or hurt the family, or for reasons motivated by money (i.e. extortion)
With all of the information available to parents on how to best protect their child, how does a parent decide on the best advice? Often the best advice is the simplest and easiest to understand- Keep it simple, keep it sensible, and keep it suitable. Make it short and sweet so that a child can understand it. Also, make it realistic and easy to follow.
Let us take a look at some of these:
The best thing you can do for your child’s safety is prepare for the worst in advance. Putting together a
Child Safety Kitis an invaluable tool that can help immensely if your child goes missing. The kit should contain a recent colour photo of them and include the following information: age, height, weight, full names, nicknames, blood type, eye colour, hair color, sex, ethnicity, allergies, unique features such as birthmarks, braces, glasses, tattoos, and piercings. The kit should also include fingerprints and DNA (their toothbrush or hair). Your local police department may also have portable fingerprint strips available to you.
Teach your child their full name, phone number, and address. Also teach them that their parents have names too and not just Mommy, Daddy, Grammy, Auntie etc.
Many parents choose to give their child a whistle or noise making device. Make sure they know what it is intended for and do not allow them to wear it around their neck as it could be a choking device.
Establish a safe word for pick ups by persons to use other than their immediate family or caregivers.
If your child thinks that they are being followed, have them run in the opposite direction and make as much noise as possible. Teach them to yell
Help Policeand not
While attending amusement parks, or any event where there are many in attendance, take a picture of your children just as you enter. In the event they go missing, you can quickly show or share with police or security exactly what your child is wearing and what they look like.
Teach your children that police officers are trusting adults who can help them if they are lost or in need of help
Lastly, there are a number of safety tips that are available online.These are just some of the tips that we feel can help to keep your children safe and aware as possible.
Cst. Gary O'BrienMedia Relations Officer
303 Prideaux St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 2N3
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