Keep your kids safe from predators

Child kidnappings have received a lot of attention in recent weeks and it sometimes seems as though their isn’t a day that goes by that another news item describes the snatching of a child. Do your children know what to do to reduce their cances of becoming a statistic?
Third Degree Blackbelt and Lion Martial Arts School owner Will Jones offers some basic tips to help protect your children from dangerous situations with strangers.
1) Educate your children. “Talk to your kids concerning the potential threat of abduction but be wary of instilling paranoia,” he said. “While it is important to teach our children caution when dealing with strangers, we do not want them in constant fear. The vast majority of people are not social deviants. A friendly adult is not a threat to your child.” In fact, a friendly adult could be all that stands between your child and abduction, he added.
2) Educate yourself and take time to educate yourself on child safety. Here are some basic tips to assist you in protecting your child:
Always know where and what your child is doing. “This sounds like basic commonsense and of course … it is!” Jones said. “However, I have many times seen young children playing outside without a parent or guardian in sight. This is just plain stupid! Such lack of supervision borders on negligence. Strong words perhaps, but we are talking about our children here. Parents, keep an eye on your kids. Don’t leave them unattended outside. A fenced-in yard isn’t going to stop a predator from abducting your child. The presence of an adult however will. Remember, predators are just like animals. They will seek out the weak and helpless, but they will run from strength and numbers.
“Be protective of your children, he continued. “Make a note of strange vehicles. Mark strangers in your neighborhood. These would not be routine passers by. Again, avoid paranoia. However, predators usually scope out potential prey. If they see a properly supervised child, they will generally move on. They don’t want a fight. They want easy prey. Never hesitate to contact the authorities if you believe there is a potential predator in your neighborhood.
Teach your child to “keep their distance. ” One of the greatest tools in self defense is distance. “Proper distance allows for reaction,” Jones noted. “For instance, say your child and a friend are outside playing or walking home from school and a car stops. The driver asks direction to the Tyrone Elementary School. Does this mean the driver is a pervert? No, but don’t take a chance. Simply address the driver from a. sqfe distance.” Do not walk up to the car. This goes for any situation your child may be confronted with.
“Remember,” he said. “Predators can be shrewd. They may learn a child’s name and use it to manipulate the situation. The bottom line is this if your child does not know the individual, then teach them to keep a safe distance no matter what.”
Never be afraid to draw attention to the situation. “Predators hate attention,” Jones reminded. “Teach your child to react loudly to a predator. If someone moves toward them or tries to grab them — tell them to yell their brains out! Tell them to call for help at the top of their lungs! In other words, don’t go quietly! Even if the predator threatens them with a weapon, don’t go with them. Run as fast you can and don’t stop calling for help. Predators are cowards who don’t want to get caught. Remember — if your children act like victims, chances are they will become one.”
Jones said that it is important not to instill paranoia in children, though. “you don’t want your kids to be afraid,” he said. “if you live in fear that is really not a life at all.”