Stranger danger: What should you stress to your kids?
Wed, 27 Jul 2011 15:44:11 GMT —
The man Quincy Police identified as the possible child abductor has been found.
He has been interviewed by investigators, and found not to be a threat.
This stems from an incident at Quincy's Hobby Lobby store earlier this week where an eight year old girl reported to her parent a man tried to grab her hand.
Quincy police say the man has diminished mental capabilities because of a traumatic brain injury.
Lieutenant Jason Simmons says the department believes he was just trying to shake the girls hand. It does not appear there was any intent to harm or abduct the child.
No criminal charges are being filed.
We've had several comments on our Facebook page about another abduction attempt, this time at Hy-Vee. Quincy Police haven't confirmed that but it made us question what you teach your kids to do when approached by a stranger.
April Moore told KHQA, "I've taught my daughter (10 years-old) to always lock the doors, not to talk to stranger and that there are strange looking people out there and not to mess with them, just come to me."
Lacey Avery says, "Don't go away from us and scream really loud if something happens."
"Do you ever worry about her getting lost? Absolutely. She's young, they tend to wander. They tend to get out of sight sometimes," says mom Nichole Gardner.
"I just hope it never happens to any of my kids," says mom April Moore.
It's something that has crossed all parents' minds many times ... Losing their kids in a store, out in public, or even in their own backyards. According to the U.S Department of Justice, an average of more than two-thousand children are reported missing each day ... But not all of them are the stereotypical abductions.
"It may even be someone they do know, like another parent. That's usually the case. It's usually not a stranger, it is someone they do know that usually takes them," say Quincy Police Department's school resource officer Dan Arns.
Officer Arns also says, in the case of a stranger, the child has to realize that it is okay to say no and that they should yell and scream for help.
"If the parent just sits down with the kids and gives them scenarios of what could happen, I think that's the best advice. I think a parent needs to use common sense and not let their kids run free in any environment because you don't know what's going to happen," says Arns.
Arns says you can start as early as the child can comprehend but it's important not to scare them. You should sit down with them and calmly tell them how to respond. Mom Lacey Avery's daughter is three ...
"She starts school in the fall, so I hope she gets most from that and we'll just encourage it," says Avery.
And Nichole Gardner's four year old ... "I've taught her my phone number, her address, names," says Gardner.
Opening up the lines of communication is often the most important part.
Do you talk to your kids about stranger danger? What do you stress to your kids about safety? Join the conversation on our Facebook page by clicking here ... who knows, we might even use your comment in our newscast.