Know How To Stay Safe
You can do many simple and fun activities with young children to reinforce safety rules. These activities will make your children more aware of their surroundings and the adults whom they can trust. The FBI’s site on child abduction gives some excellent ways to improve parent-child communication and to help you plan ahead for child safety.
Share a Secret Code Word
With your child, decide on a secret code word that is easy to remember. Children love to have secrets. If you send someone to pick up your child, that person will know the code word. If a person doesn’t know the code word, your child should shout “No!” and immediately run to the person in charge.
Play "Who’s Your Mama? (Daddy?)"
When a child is lost and finds an appropriate person to help look for his or her parents, the first questions are “Whom are you here with? What’s your mama’s (daddy’s, grandma’s, babysitter’s) name? What does she (or he) look like?” Help your child learn to describe you and other caretakers. Start by describing your child. For example, you could say, “My little girl’s name is Rachel Juarez. She has dark brown eyes and long dark hair, braided and tied with green ribbons. She is about 3 feet tall, and she is wearing blue jeans and a red jacket.” Then, help your child describe you (and other caretakers)—your full name, the color of your hair and eyes, your height, whether you’re thin or heavy-set, and what you’re wearing.
Make this into a game. After you’ve described each other, go behind a door. Then, see if you can describe your child and if he or she can describe you. Soon, you will both become more aware of what you’re wearing each day—a big help in finding someone.
Safety Tip: If you’re planning a big trip to an amusement park or sporting event, dress everyone in the same color or the same T-shirts. That way, even young children who are lost, crying, and frightened can tell a guard that their family is dressed like they are.
Take a Picture
Children love to see how they grow and change. Every 6 months, weigh and measure your children. Then, take a picture and record their weight and height on the back. According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one in six missing children is found because of access to recent photos. You and your children can do the math to show how much they’re growing.