Kidnapping a reality

2019-09-18 06:01

IN the wake of recent abductions, Fidelity ADT has issued a general alert to all residents.

Parents have been urged to empower their children, teenagers and varsity-going young adults with all the information necessary to respond to any crisis or act of criminality.

“As parents and guardians, it is our responsibility to not only educate our children about safety but to also give them the necessary tools to deal with a crisis. While we certainly don’t want to live in fear, we do need to have frank conversations about what to do when things go wrong,” explains Charnel Hattingh, national communications and marketing manager at Fidelity ADT.

There are simple actions, she says, which can often keep a child or young adult safe. Teach your kids this:

•They must always walk to or from school with a friend or friends. Stick to streets they know and never take shortcuts through quiet areas or empty parking lots and never walk with cell phones and iPads in full view.

•If they get picked up at school, they should never leave the premises but always wait inside the school grounds for their lift to arrive.

• Younger children, particularly, must never get into a stranger’s car; even if the stranger claims that someone they love is hurt and that they have been sent to pick them up.

• Consider using a password system. If the person coming to collect a child from school cannot repeat the password you and your child agreed on, children should not get into the car but immediately ask for help.

• If a stranger approaches your child, they should not talk to them no matter how friendly they may seem. If someone tries to grab them, they need to fight, kick and shout.

• If your child does encounter any suspicious activity, encourage them to get a good look and memorise their physical details and clothing, as well as the vehicle they are in.

• Make sure your children memorise their full names, address and phone number. Using a play phone, teach them when and how to dial 10111.

“Quite simply, the same rules that apply to adults need to be instilled in children and young adults and if someone cannot be found, it is vital to report this to the authorities immediately,” concludes Hattingh.

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