ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Child Abduction - What parents should know, and teach their children.

Updated on March 23, 2011

Over seven thousand children are abducted every year in the United States.

Child abduction is a problem throughout the world. Virtually all children are potential targets for child abductors. Abducted children come from all areas of society, though lonely children and those from broken homes are preferred targets. Children hitchhiking or playing or walking alone, are in the greatest danger.

Although the majority of abductors are male, there are also female abductors. Remember that older children and teenagers are just as commonly victims of abductors, as are the very young.

Child abductors stalk their prey, waiting for an opportunity to snatch a child when he/she is in isolation, away from potential help. Small children should never be out of your sight. Older children should be taught to play and walk in groups, and never, ever, under any circumstances, leave a companion behind.

Vans, especially with darkened windows, are the vehicle of choice for child abductors. Watch for these vehicles, or any others that are suspiciously or unnecessarily parked around schools, playgrounds, or where children gather. Teach your children to watch for these and to report them to their teachers or to you.

Child abductors make an effort to seem harmless and normal. They are usually well groomed, and make a conscious effort to blend in with the general population. Some abductors use lures, such as paying jobs, or rewards for helping to find pets, or something fascinating to see, that is 'just around the corner'. Young girls are often flattered on their appearance and lured with promises of modeling careers. Ingrain the phrase, "I have to ask my Mom".

Child abductors may dress in costumes to draw children to them. They may also wear uniforms indicating authority, which children are prone to trust. Some even have flashing lights on their vehicles, such as used by police cars. Teach your children never to go with anyone other than those specially designated as friends of the family. Some parents have a special word or phrase that would be known and spoken by anyone coming on behalf of the parents. (Use this with caution - it may be confusing to small children - in addition some children cannot keep secrets)  Children should be taught to keep their distance if strangers try to speak to them.

Abductors may attempt to attract children by using lost or present animals, candy, toys, etc. Older children my be lured by flattery, cash, alcohol and drugs. Teach your children that normal people do not give gifts in this manner. Establish a rapport with your children so that they will be comfortable telling you of such offerings. Teach then that tempting as some things are, they can present great danger. By reporting to you, they may be saving another young person.

Realize that children want to help, the man seeking his pet, or the handsome Ted Bundy, with his arm in a sling, needing help loading his groceries in his car. 'I'll get my Mom" is the phrase to teach here, then run like the wind to 'get Mom'. Commend your children for wanting to help, but tell them, that helping is 'getting Mom'.

Unfortunately, potential abductors try to infiltrate organizations specializing in programs for children. It is important that all parents enrolling their children in any programs investigate the organization responsible as well as anyone, in it, who will be dealing directly with their child.

A child's safety often depends on the relationship they have with their parent. Children must be made to feel that they can tell their parent literally anything and they will never be punished for their honesty. Playing in a forbidden area should be canceled out if the child reports that they have done this and seen something that made them uncomfortable.

Do not use frightening examples to teach your children safety. Frightened children are vulnerable children and will not be able to act appropriately in crisis situations. You want your children to know that if they are afraid or alarmed they should scream and run, and if necessary fight. Discuss this. Practice it. Teach your children all they need to know at each stage of their development, and then do your part to be eternally vigilant. You want your children to be friendly well adjusted human beings

Unloved children, or those who doubt that they are loved, are especially drawn to the advances of anyone who offers them love or attention. Don't let your child be one of these.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you so much for your kind comments Minnetonka Twin - noone, least of all a child, can think and act wisely if they are merely 'scared' - regards, B.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      Excellent article about keeping our children safe. I agree that it's not necessary to scare the children when teaching them how to be safe. We can give them the education they need to keep them out of harms way. I hit many buttons on this important hub.

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      It is definitely hard to keep children safe, but at the same time encouraging them to be friendly and sociable - it is good to hear from you and I appreciate the vote up - B.

    • davenstan profile image

      Katina Davenport 

      6 years ago

      I do a lot to keep my friendly daughter not to talk to strangers. She still does it. I want her to be sociable, but not gullible. Voted up!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)