Over the last few weeks we have seen reports of terrifying incidents of attempted kidnapping of children.
‘We need to ensure that our children are always protected,’ says national marketing and communications Manager for Fidelity ADT, Charnel Hattingh.
‘It boils down to making sure your children know exactly how to avoid possible danger, and also what they must do in case something bad happens to them. Recent incidents have also been a red flag reminder to parents to remain vigilant around their small children at all times. Kidnapping of children in shopping centres or retail outlets is a reality.’
Charnel’s personal security tips you should follow:
- Don’t put your child’s name on his/ her clothing or visibly on a backpack. If you have to mark clothes for school, rather label them on the inside where the name is not easily visible to strangers. Children often trust adults who know their name.
- Teach your little one to scream help or something similar if a stranger picks them up.
- If seated at an outside restaurant, rather select a table further in rather than one closest to the road. This will make child snatching that much more difficult.
- Teach your child not to accept gifts or sweets from strangers. They should always check with you first.
- If your child is old enough, teach her your name, surname and telephone number. If they get lost, they should go to Mall security first.
- Never leave your child unsupervised – not even in the play area of a restaurant. Always make sure you have eyes on her at all times. Parents often even get distracted while shopping and leave children in a trolley unattended. They can disappear in a second.
- Never ask a stranger to hold your baby.
- If you’ve arranged for someone else to pick your child up from day care or preschool, discuss this arrangement with your child and the teacher so they never get into a stranger’s car or someone they are not expecting.
- Invest in a GPS tracking device. Toddlers are very busy and it’s not difficult to lose sight of them – especially in busy shopping centres.
*Source Living & Loving