How to Keep Your Children Safe from Predators

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

How to keep your children safe from predators isn’t the happiest of topics. However, this world is full of predators and people looking to kidnap children for various reasons. Most days, we don’t think about it. But, it is a terrifying thought when we do. A few years ago, we shared a video about just how easily a child abduction can happen featuring children whose parents thought they knew the importance of stranger danger. It was an eye-opener.

To help decrease the risk of kidnapping, here are some tips on ways to help your children prepare and be more aware of their surroundings.

The Statistics

According to the NCIC Missing Person and Unidentified Person Statistics results from 2020:

  • 543,028 kidnappings occurred last year
  • Approximately 67% of those kidnapped were children under the age of 17

In most cases, when a child is kidnapped, it is by someone they already know. There are, however, many cases where someone tries to abduct a child they do not know. And they will sometimes get away with it, which is truly tragic.

Ditch the Personalized Items

You know those all so cute and personalized things your child carries around? The backpacks, the jewelry, the lunch bags, and anything else that might be blaring your child’s name for the world to see?

Throw it out, sell it, burn it, or plain old, don’t buy it in the first place.

Sharing your child’s name so publicly makes it easier for a predator to make a quick connection with them. When a stranger addresses your child by name, they’re much more likely to trust them, which spells danger.

Imagine if, as your child walks home from school, a stranger pulls up and says, “Sally? I work with your mom. She got hurt at work and is at the hospital – she asked me to pick you up.” If that stranger already knows their name, it’s much more likely your child will believe the stranger. 

Make up a code word for you to use  

Having a code word can help in many ways and give your child street smarts. There are several instances where a code word can be vital and could make or break a situation. Pick a word or phrase that isn’t super out of place but still stands out enough.

When would you use it?

Well, remember the last scene where the stranger claimed to be there on the mother’s behalf because she’s in the hospital? Let’s say that’s true. Or someone else is unexpectedly picking up your child from school. If you have a code word that you and your child both know, you can set it up in advance. The “stranger” can give your child that code word, and your child will know they are a safe person and can be trusted. The key with this one is that it has to be a secret and not commonly known.

Have a code word for your child to use

Having a code word your child can use in certain situations is another way this comes in handy. For example, your child is at a friend’s house, and something happens. Your child doesn’t feel safe anymore, be it a threat, an advance, or anything else. If they want to come home but don’t want to draw attention, have a codeword or phrase your child can say. The instant your child says it, you know something is wrong.

The codeword or phrase could be the name of a candy bar, to something more obscure like red leggings. Your child could say, “Can we get a Twix bar from the store when we go shopping tomorrow?” or “Can you make sure to wash my red leggings tonight?” Make it something subtle, but something neither will forget.

Find a mom with kids

While most children know a police officer will keep them safe from kidnapping, they aren’t always around. Teach your child when they’re feeling unsafe or lost to seek out a mom with children. Mom’s are everywhere, and in most cases, they will protect your child or get help. Plus, if your child looks like they’re with a parent or adult, they are less likely to get taken.

Teach them to scream and put up a fight

We often tell our kids to behave. We don’t want them acting out in public, having a temper tantrum, or make a scene. Heck, most adults will ignore your typical temper tantrum at the local park. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

But, a child screaming? Screaming at the top of their lungs isn’t normal. Teach your kids to make as big of a scene as possible. Kick, scream, hit, bite. In short, tell your child to do everything they can to draw attention to themselves. Not only will this make other people stop and take note, but it will also, hopefully, change the kidnapper’s mind. With everyone watching, it’s likely the kidnapper will run away. 

Never Keep “Body Secrets”

Teach your kids early that “body secrets” are not okay. Have them know from an early age if someone tells them to keep a secret involving any body part to tell you immediately. If any adult is trying to have your child keep something secret about their body, it’s for no good reason.

It’s important they also know which parts of their bodies should stay covered and private. An easy way to explain this is by calling it “swimsuit areas.” That is not to make them feel ashamed or embarrassed of their bodies. It is so they know those parts should not be seen and touched by strangers.

Teach older kids to be resistant to manipulation.

As horrible as the Jeffrey Epstein case was, we learned a lot about the way predators manipulate older kids into sexual situations. You can read some of their tactics in this article.

There is so much more you can do 

Along with helping your child stay safe and out of harm’s way you can also teach them invaluable skills like prepping and survival skills. The Organic Prepper has published articles on how to do just that. Here’s one from Graywolf: Teach Your Children Prepping and Survival Skills in a Way They’ll Love. Daisy wrote this one on Raising Competent Kids in An Incompetent World. Playing Kim’s Game can help your children become more situationally aware. Be sure to talk to your kids about safety and preparedness in a way that doesn’t scare them.

I hope you have found these tips to help keep your children safe from predators beneficial. There are endless amounts of other things that you can do to help them and other children. Teach your kids to go with their gut. If something feels wrong about a situation, it often is. It’s better safe than sorry.

Do you have other tips on keeping your children safe in these dangerous times? What do you teach your kids? Share your ideas and thoughts with other readers in the comments below. 

About the Author

Chloe Morgan grew up living with a tight budget. In her late teens and early 20’s all the lessons she’d learned started to slip, like it does for many college-age students on their own for the first time, and with their first credit card. As she’s gotten older, she’s started to deal with the repercussions and has taken on a frugal way of living, keeping her costs low, as she pays off debt and saves for her future.
Chloe Morgan

Chloe Morgan

Leave a Reply

  • We had code words when I was a kid. We were latch-key, so it was for strangers but also the phone. Now, I’m old, and the phone was rotary, but today’s youth often don’t have phone numbers memorized. They should know Mom and or Dad’s phone number by heart!

    My parents also taught us SA by playing “I spy”. As a military member, so many of those early lessons translated into my service. Duress words =code word. “I spy”= anti-terrorism training.

    • “today’s youth often don’t have phone numbers memorized”

      went to pick up a prescription, gave the young pharmacist my birthdate by day-month-year. he was unable to translate that into the number-number-number data he needed to access the account – he had no idea what the numbers meant.

  • This situation will not improve until our Republic’s moral situation improves. Pray for America!

    • how does praying for america improve its moral situation? the bible has lots of prayers for “give me something” or “destroy my enemies” or “forgive me and ignore my sins” or other such, but there’s not much in the way of “make me a better person” let alone anything at all in the way of “make someone else a better person”.

      • ant7,
        if you understand the power/control God has over all things, you would understand how “Prayer Changes Things”, as one of my Professors in seminary used to say. Just like the Jews were guided back to Him through “crisis”, so will America experience His wrath as well I fear.

        Question: What did Jesus say as to what would happen to those who hurt children ?

        • “if you understand the power/control God has over all things”

          I understand the doctrines, sure, they’re not complicated or mysterious. but if “god is in control” then one wonders 1) how things got to be broken in the first place, and 2) so what is prayer for? it all seems dyslexic and applied on a rationalized “as needed” basis.

          “what did jesus say as to what would happen to those who hurt children?”

          he didn’t , he just implied it would be really bad. in any case he is quoted as saying this applied to those children who believed – he didn’t say if anything would happen to those who hurt children who didn’t believe (mk 9:42). in any case the old testament makes clear that “no harm befalls the righteous” (e.g. prov 12:21) so I’m left wondering how – if – it all fits together.

          • The book of Proverbs is exactly that: a book of proverbs. They are general rules for living, not absolutes or promises. Some of them exist in tension with others.

            Hope it helps.

            • “The book of Proverbs is exactly that: a book of proverbs”

              well _I_ think that, certainly, but everybody else tells me it’s the inspired inerrant infallible unitary very word of god himself. and besides, it’s just one example of the concept that pervades the old testament from beginning to end. check out the blessing/curse at the end of deuteronomy, it’s fairly comprehensive.

              “Some of them exist in tension with others”

              seems the whole text is in tension. try comparing 1sam2:31-33 with ez18:2-3. not to mention paul’s teachings conflicting with those of jesus.

              anyway, it’s not clear that prayer will change america’s moral situation – unless god changes people’s character as he pleases, in which case the prayer should be for everything everywhere always and not just america. but then one is left wondering why prayer is a factor at all.

              • My husband preached a sermon on this once. Prayer is not a cookie machine. Put a prayer in, get a cookie out. We have to align ourselves first and foremost with the Divine. It is a spiritual service, as when the priests offered incense in the temple and we are God’s Servants, not He our Servant. Which is why the Lord’s Prayer says “ thy will be done”. Having said that both the Bible and our prayers are interactions with a Living God. And so you cannot have a rigid expectation as to how both of those things will interact with your life. It is not enough to know the Bible, you have to have a relationship with it’s Author. Your relationship with your Lover is not about rules is it? Our relationship with God both resembles that of a child with his Daddy and that of a wife with her husband/kinsman redeemer. Paul says let us therefore come boldly to the throne of Grace. God says I looked for intercessors talking about the nation of Israel. And Judaic belief says that what set Moses apart as the greatest of prophets was that he interceded for an entire nation with God – and saved them. Regardless we are told” “ men ought always to pray and not to faint” And that is part of our duties as Christians.

                • Naomi, your husband and you seem have a very good understanding of The Father. Bless you both.

                  A simple way to describe God and prayer, “Sometimes He says YES and sometime NO, either way he always answers prayer”.

                • “what set Moses apart as the greatest of prophets was that he interceded for an entire nation with God – and saved them”

                  I don’t think that “do not look upon their sin” really addresses our issues. notice that moses in fact did not “save” them – none of them but two made it to the promised land, including moses.

  • This is such an important and well-written article. We raised two daughters and helped raise two grandchildren. We used codes and a unique whistle to alert one another.
    Good job Chloe. I’ve followed your Mother’s work for many years and look forward to your future articles.

  • Good reminders for parents and grandparents. My youngest is 43. I still occasionally remind her to stay situationally aware. My sons are all ex military. Awareness seems programed in.

    There was a rapist in the nighborhood where I walked to and from school. He would talk to kids that we n take one by the hand and walk with them a ways then pull them into an alleyway.

    Along with the we rest of the advice I’d say don’t let a stranger walk along with you, especially don’t holds hands with a stranger.

  • Chloe, welcome to the zoo.
    I got a kick out of reading this. It brings back memories of when our kids were growing up. (They’re almost your mom’s age LOL)
    We went through the same lessons, and thankfully there were no problems.
    I keep hearing things are different now. Are they?
    Or is it just that things get reported on more with the 24/7 news cycle.
    Anyway, very good advice, and I hope you stick around to round out the threesome.

  • Well homeschooling our kids and keeping them away from public schools reduces their odds of being victimized. Schools are worse than what you read about the Catholic church etc.

  • Ms Luther

    You wrote: “While most children know a police officer will keep them safe from kidnapping,…”

    That is bogus. Cops are predators. Cops kidnap and kill kids every day.

    Do not interact with cops. Find a mom with kids.

    • “Cops are predators”

      never seen that in 50 years. met cops who were burned out, who were alpha-dominant, who were playing games, or who didn’t care. but almost all were quite competent and professional and considerate, and none were ever “predators”.

      • they prey
        they go to and fro on the highways
        and up and down on the byways
        seeking whom they may

        they are predators. it’s who they are, it’s what they do.

        Ms Morgan wrote an article with just one glitch: advising readers to interact with paramilitary predators. I just simply alerted her to a reality involving cops, that cops kidnap kids, and cops kill kids.

        • “they are predators. it’s who they are, it’s what they do”

          maybe there’s a reason you experience them that way.

    • I need to correct this:

      I could have done better by addressing Ms Morgan.

      sorry about that, Ms Morgan.

  • Great article but I wonder how many of the 500,000 kidnappings were by non-custodial parents. That’s bad but a little different story. I just don’t know anybody whose child was kidnapped.

  • You Need More Than Food to Survive

    In the event of a long-term disaster, there are non-food essentials that can be vital to your survival and well-being. Make certain you have these 50 non-food stockpile essentials. Sign up for your FREE report and get prepared.

    We respect your privacy.
    Malcare WordPress Security