Moms Talk Q&A: How to Get Our Kids Home from School Safely

In light of the recent kidnapping attempts in Milpitas, we discuss how to talk to our kids and teens about stepping up their safety precautions.

Welcome back to Moms Talk, where we take your questions, give advice and share solutions. 

This week's question:

Have you discussed the recent kidnapping attempts in Milpitas with your kids or teens? In what ways have you stepped up safety precautions for your kids recently?

It is important to discuss the recent kidnapping attempts with your kids to make them realize that it's a danger that could happen to them. Teenagers can sometimes feel invincible and may think that things like kidnapping could never happen to them. Discussing how close these events have been can make them realize that it is a problem they need to be aware of.

It can be somewhat difficult to make kids aware, without making them scared or wary of strangers in general. Discussing specific things to look out for, such as men sitting in their cars or loitering in front of places where children or teens gather, is a good start. It may even be helpful to show teenagers some of the of the suspects from the recent attempts in Milpitas.

Considering that many abductions occur while walking to or from school, it's normal for parents to reconsider their children's transportation options. Shared carpools are always a good idea, as it can be hard for parents to pick their children up from school every day. Making arrangements for after-school activities are always a possibility, too, giving children a safe and constructive place to be until you are able to pick them up.

Still, if it is necessary for your children to walk home from school or elsewhere, there are other things we can do to help ensure their safety.

Try sitting down with your children to map out their route from school to home. Point out safe places for them along the way, such as a grocery store, a friend's house or a post office. If they think they are being followed, going home alone may not be a good idea. Tell them to go to a neighbor’s house until their parents come home or back to school until they can be picked up. If your child or teen has a cell phone, make sure they know how to reach the police, because dialing 911 in some areas may not connect them to the appropriate emergency assistance.

For more information on how to keep your children safe, go to LiveSecure.org for a free DVD on how to talk to your children about these issues.

Shari Thompson March 24, 2011 at 02:14 AM
I have a 13 yr. old and we did discuss the abduction attempts and I reviewed the sketches with her. We also talked about being aware of your surroundings. We even did a little role playing. When we are at the mall or the grocery store we discuss what might seem out of place. When she can she will catch a ride home with one of her friends, and either that mom will drop her off or I will pick her up after I'm off from work.
Kelly McBride March 24, 2011 at 08:49 PM
Role playing is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing!


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