Local News

Experts Say Parents Should Teach Children How To Be Safe

Posted February 6, 2004

— Most parents tell their kids not to talk to strangers, but many experts caution that there is a lot more parents need to say.

Brittany Locklear

and

Precious Whitfield

are two names that come to mind when you think about child abductions in North Carolina. However, according to the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons, the number of abductions in the state is low.

Only six child abductions have been reported to the center since 1999, but officials said that is no reason to relax.

"We should never lose sight of the fact that there are predators in the world. There are predators in every community probably in the United States, so we must be on guard for that," said Perry Stewart, of the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons.

Wake County Sheriff Deputy Lyn Buck conducts free lectures for parents and children about staying safe. She said she has a message meant to protect children from an abduction attempt.

"If someone should grab them or actually attempt an abduction, the child should, as quickly as possible, try to get away and scream at the top of their lungs, 'This is not my Mom. This is not my Dad,'" she said.

Buck also said she tells parents to be more involved.

"When they take their child to an extra-curricular [activity], they don't need to just stop out front and let the child out," she said. "They need to go in, spend some time in there, see what kind of event they're actually involved in and have a specific pick-up time."

Parents can also be proactive by signing up to receive amber alerts online. AOL was one of the first Web sites to offer instant alerts. You get them based on your zip code. There are other resources as well. Just type "amber alert" in a search engine and there is plenty of information.

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