Think child safety as students return to school
As summer comes to a close, there’s a lot to accomplish before the school year. There are school supplies to purchase, outfits to lay out and lunches to plan. But the first thing on your to-do list should be to talk to your child about safety.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has been tracking attempted abductions around the country since 2005, and we now know that there may be certain times when children are more at-risk of being abducted.
Our analysis shows that 32 percent of attempted abductions occurred when a child was going to or from school or a school-related activity. Thirty-four percent of attempted abductions happened between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
“Although child safety should be a priority every day, our attempted abduction analysis has demonstrated greater risk of abduction when children are going to and from school or school-related activities,” said Nancy McBride, executive director of our Florida Regional Office.
We also kept count of those attempted abductions where it was known how the child escaped their potential abductor. In more than half of those cases, children walked or ran away from the suspect. In 32 percent of those cases, children reacted in some way such as kicking, pulling away or attracting attention.
While running away or attracting attention to yourself may seem second nature, it isn’t always to children. Take the opportunity before school begins to teach your children what to do if someone approaches them and tries to take them away.
Use these resources to help you start the conversation with your kids about safety as they travel to and from school.
- Use the Take 25 Discussion Guides to begin conversations with children of all ages about safety risks.
- Show young children the NetSmartz video Beat the Tricks to help them understand how someone may approach them and how to react
- Download Know the Rules for additional safety tips and conversation starters.