Thousands of calls are placed each year for children who are reported missing. It is estimated that nearly 3,000 children are reported missing each year. This number is a combination of family related abductions, strangers, or sometimes missing runaways.
Thankfully, while many children are found and returned to their families, there are numerous other children who are never found at all.
AMBER Alerts are emergency messages that are broadcast by law enforcement agencies once they have determined that a child is missing. While these alerts can help authorities locate missing children, there’s no guarantee that those children will be found at all, and the longer the child is missing, the higher the risk they are for never being found.
In this day of age where kidnapping still exists, and human trafficking is on the rise, it’s important to teach our youth how to protection themselves, even at home, in case of a home invasion.
Safety Tips for Children
- Children should never answer the door at home for any reason, even for someone they know
- Teach children how to dial 911 and what situations constitutes the call
- If children are somewhere they feel unsafe, they should RUN for help
- Children who walk to and from school or play outside often should carry whistles – these can be used as a safety device to draw attention to the situation
- Also, children who walk to and from school should avoid shortcuts at all times
- If a child becomes lost, they need to know to look for someone who can help, such as emergency personnel, other parents, or public employees nearby
- If someone in a vehicle stops a child, they should not respond but run and scream for help
- If someone attempts to abduct a child, they child should be taught to FIGHT BACK and yell loudly – let them know they have permission to kick, bite, gouge eyes, or punch the throat of the attacker
- They are phone app that can trace the child and their location at all times
- They are phone apps that will call emergency personnel and track the child through location features
- Even with location features, children should be taught not to engage with strangers online and never meet with anyone they don’t know, especially without parental consent
- If someone they knew asks them to keep a secret, this is a sign that they may be in an unsafe situation and they should tell someone they trust immediately
- Children should know that if someone has threatened or bullied them, they need to report it immediately to prevent injury
Safety Tips for Parents:
- Parents: never leave your child unattended, not at home, in a store or in a vehicle.
- Parents: chose babysitters wisely – make sure they won’t be alone with an adult at any time, and if possible have background checks conducted especially with hired baby sitters
- Parents: make sure your child has a phone if they leave the home. Phone apps with tracking and location devices will help keep your children safe
- Parents: make sure your children have memorized parents and family phone numbers and home address, along with their own personal information such as full name and date of birth
- Parents: never allow yourself to become too comfortable with anyone – most violent or sexual offenders do not identify themselves as such – be prudent
- Parents: communication is key – make sure your children know they can trust you and that you will not punish or overreact toward them if they reveal sensitive information to you; listen to them if they tell you they feel unsafe with someone, or that someone has harmed them, and report it to authorities
Prayer: Father God, we pray Your protective hands over our children. We thank You that You have given Your heavenly angels charge over them, that they may be kept in safety and free from harm. We thank You for Your hedge of protection that encompasses our children in their comings and goings, day and night. We pray that You would bless us and our children with the gift of discernment, that we would know good from evil. We pray that You would lead and guide as parents that we would rear our children according to Your word and under the protection of Your Holy Spirit. We thank You Father God for the blessing that our children are to us and for the opportunity to be a blessing to them. We vow to honor You by being good stewards of the fruit of our wombs, Lord, that we will protect them in the natural and trust in You to protect them in the Spirit. Thank You Father God for Your hand over our lives. We thank You for Your favor and grace. In Jesus’ mighty and precious name we pray, Amen.