Many in the area have seen the social media post below about an attempted kidnapping at a local park, and you're concerned about what can be done to keep something like this from happening to your family.
We reached out to the Lafayette Police Department about what parents and family members can do to help kids spot potential danger.
"Having a plan about safety and when you're out in public is always a way for them to know how to escape potential dangerous encounters with strangers," said LPD Sr. Cpl. Bridgette Dugas. "So I think it's very important that parents sit down and educate their children on what to do and what not to do."
We asked LPD what else parents can do to help keep their kids safe. Below are more tips:
- Parents should always make sure children know their full name, address, phone number, and parent's name (not just "mom" and "dad")
- Avoid having children wear clothing, backpacks, or bags with their name on it; children tend to trust someone who knows their name
- Always have a plan if your child gets lost in a public place. They should always know who they should approach. Make sure they know what a uniformed police officer or what an adult they should approach looks like.
- Children should know how to use 911
- Children should never accept candy, toys, pets, or any other items from a stranger
- Children should run away and make as much noise or scream "help" in order to draw attention if a stranger tries to force them into a vehicle or follows them
- Children should never answer personal questions from a stranger
- Children should never try to "help" a stranger. Adults they don't know should not ask them for help to do anything.
Finally, Dugas said parents should remember never to leave children unsupervised in public places such as parks, malls, public bathrooms, restaurant play areas, and movie theaters, just to name a few. Parents should keep their eyes on their children at all times.
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