It seems like the news has been full of stories about abductions and missing kids lately. The high profile case of Mollie Tibbetts here in Iowa has many parents, including myself, on high alert. The world that we grew up in, where we could play outside without fear of danger has been changed forever. I felt the need to reinforce that fact to my kids, specifically my daughters.

Nearly all kids kidnapped by strangers are taken by men. Two-thirds of those abductions involve female children. We are hearing more and more about the sex trafficking trade and how popular it is here in Iowa. One reason is that Interstate 80 runs through our state, and across most of the nation. It's easy for these people to hop off the interstate to a small town, grab someone and disappear. So what are some things we can do to keep our kids safe?

Many are common sense. Know what your kids are doing online. Limit the places they are allowed to go or visit. Make sure they are supervised when out in public places. Choose your caregivers carefully. This includes daycare to the person picking your kid up from school Comb through their references and discuss the arrangements with your kids. Also, keep your kid's medical records up to date. Have ID-like photos taken every 6 months. Take them to be fingerprinted at your local police station or public safety event.

And finally, do what I did this week. Tell your kids NEVER talk to strangers. Don't accept candy from them. Never go anywhere with them even if it sounds fun, or even if they say they know your parents. And if someone does come towards them run away and scream as loud as they can. I hate that I have to talk to my kids about this. But I hate it more when I see stories on TV about missing kids. Keep yours close, and keep them safe.

 

[via KidsHealth]