There have been two recent abduction attempts in a Central Austin neighborhood. I am so proud of these children for having the presence of mind to get to safety! These events show the need to teach children the Kidpower skills to stay aware, take charge of their own safety and get help in an emergency.
Irene Van der Zande, executive director of Kidpower International says it best in her blog posting:
Just telling kids “don’t go with strangers” is often not enough to prepare them for tricks that a potential abductor might use to get them to lower their guard.
We have found that raising awareness without having a concrete safety plan and practicing skills is not enough to prepare kids to be safe on their own – and risks creating anxiety without necessarily making them safer. Positive Practice prepares young people to recognize potential safety problems and to protect themselves from danger in a way that increases competence and reduces anxiety.
We encourage readers to download and use the checklist from our article Protect Your Child From Abduction: FREE Safety Checklist to Prepare Kids to Go Without Adult Protection to TALK with your kids, WALK with your kids, and PRACTICE with your kids. We also encourage you to share this with others by making print copies of the PDF or by emailing it as an attachment.
Not sure HOW to practice? Kidpower provides an extensive personal safety curriculum for all ages and abilities including articles and videos in our free online Library, easy-to-use and interesting books such as our Safety Comics in our Bookstore.
You can also contact Kidpower Austin to learn more about local workshops for teachers and parents on how to teach safety skills to young people, and workshops for students.