“Stranger-Danger” Not Effective at Keeping Kids Safer
“Stranger danger” - the phrase is so pervasive in our culture that it has become part of the lexicon. Well-intentioned adults perpetuate this misguided message, and the media often uses it as a slogan.
Child Safety Publications and Resources
Parents, guardians, and adults who care for children face constant challenges when trying to help keep children safer in today's fast-paced world. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children offers easy-to-use safety resources to help address these challenges.
How Do I Teach My Child About Personal Safety?
A child’s ability to understand safety skills and put them into practice is determined not just by age, but also by the child’s educational and developmental levels.To truly learn new safety skills, children need to model, rehearse and practice the skills to incorporate them into their daily lives.
National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW)
This Website is a search tool allowing a user to submit a single national query to obtain information about sex offenders through a number of search options.
An Internet, safety-education resource for children (5-17), parents, guardians, educators, and law enforcement by The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
The first-of-its-kind, online service provided by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to answer questions about Internet safety, computers, and the Web. NetSmartz411 is provided at no cost to the public.
How to Raise a Street Smart Child
Nancy assisted with this HBO safety video. Now watch it on YouTube.
Recommendations from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
• Tricks: Most abductions involve deception (generally without force or a weapon) through well-known lures that still work: free candy, a lost pet (tell your children:there is no lost pet!), and assistance (adults do not ask children for help!).
• Practice: Talk openly and often. There are easy “what if” scenarios to practice with your children to make sure they “get it.” Make outings to a mall or park an opportunity to reinforce these skills. That way they won’t have to wonder what to do if lost or in danger. Do this on a regular basis to make sure it becomes second nature.
• Prepare: Create a family phone book by listing all friends and family to start spreading the word in the event your child is missing.
• Safety Nets: Give children “safety nets” of people they can go to if they need help. Those individuals may include uniformed law-enforcement or security officers; a store salesperson with a nametag; the person in an information booth at a mall or other public venue; or a mother with children.
• Background: Check out everyone. Ask for a predator listing in area, demand background checks from everyone who may have contact with your child (Boy Scout leaders, baby sitters, neighbors, youth group leaders, etc.). Be careful about sleepovers by always meeting the parents of friends well in advance.
• Watch: Be vigilant near home and in public places. Do not allow children in their primary years to walk to school alone, play outside unattended, or stray away to far during an outing.
More tips on our blog: Stranger Danger
What is Take 25?
National Missing Children’s Day, May 25th.
WHAT IS TAKE 25?
• Take 25 is a national child safety campaign encouraging parents and guardians to take twenty-five minutes to talk to their children about ways to stay safer.
• A program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) created in commemoration of National Missing Children’s Day.
• Take 25 promotes an ongoing dialogue between children, families, and communities about child safety issues.
• Take 25 is a national grassroots initiative designed to raise awareness of the issues surrounding missing and exploited children.
WHAT IS NATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN’S DAY?
• National Missing Children’s Day was first declared a nationwide day of commemoration by former President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and has continued to be annually marked by each Administration since.
• Annually honored as May 25th, this day serves as a reminder to the nation to renew efforts to reunite missing children with their families, remember those who are still missing and make child protection a national priority.
WHY IS TAKE 25 IMPORTANT?
• According to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice there were an estimated 800,000 children reported missing in the United States in 1999, amounting to roughly 2,200 per day. Thankfully, the vast majority are located quickly.
• According to that same DOJ study, an estimated 58,200 children were abducted that year by non-family members. About 115 children are the victims of the most serious, long-term abductions that people consider “stereotypical kidnappings.”
• A 2003 study conducted by RoperASW, a leading marketing research firm, surveyed a group of more than 1,000 parents and grandparents. The study’s results indicated the need for increased parental/guardian education as half of the parents and grandparents considered child abduction and sexual exploitation to be a “very big” problem.
HOW MAY OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY GET INVOLVED IN TAKE 25?
• Coordinate a rally or a town hall meeting with elected officials and local educators and invite all parents and guardians to attend and learn how to talk to their children about safety.
• Coordinate a child identification event to photograph and fingerprint local children.
• Plan a Take 25 event at a local school or community center to help educate your community about the importance of teaching parents and guardians protective measures to help children stay safer.
• Encourage members of your community to Take 25 minutes to talk with children about safety issues.
• Distribute Take 25 materials throughout your community.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN
• NCMEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
• NCMEC helps prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation; helps find missing children; and assists victims of child abduction and sexual exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them.
• NCMEC’s Congressionally mandated CyberTipline®, a reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation, has handled more than 638,000 leads.
• Since its establishment in 1984, NCMEC has assisted law enforcement with more than 148,160 missing-child cases resulting in the recovery of more than 132,314 children.