Author, Teacher, Psychologist and Speaker



Ten Tips for Kids

  1. Do not talk to strangers – even if they seem friendly and harmless – a stranger is someone you do not know. If you are approached by a stranger and are scared, tell a trusted adult such as a parent, a policeman, or a teacher.
  2. Strangers should not ask you for help to find a lost pet or for directions. Even if they know your name, or offer you candy or presents, run the opposite way from anyone who tries to take you somewhere or tries to lure you into a vehicle.
  3. Do not get into any car unless your parents personally tell you to do so. Never go anywhere without permission from, and knowledge of, your parents.
  4. Do not go places alone. Always take a buddy with you and walk or play in groups.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings. Walk on the sidewalk, away from streets and avoid short cuts to school and other places. If you are frightened on your normal route, know which houses in your neighborhood are “safe” for you to go.
  6. Develop a code word to use between you and your parents and other trusted adults. Never get into a car with someone who does not know that code word.
  7. Don’t let anyone tell you to keep a secret from your parents or other adults in charge of you. If they do, tell your parents, a police office, or a teacher. Also, tell anyone who wants to take your picture, “No,” and tell your parents, a police office, or a teacher.
  8. Don’t be afraid to tell your parents, a police officer, or teacher if you feel threatened, even if someone has told you not to talk.
  9. If you are home alone, keep the doors and windows locked. Do not answer the door. Never tell anyone who calls that you are home alone.
  10. If someone tries to take you, run to your home, to a neighbor’s home, or public place yelling “Someone is trying to kidnap me.” Practice a special” yell that is low, loud and long. Remember: “yell, bite, kick, and run.”


Ten Tips for Parents

  1. Tell your children to always walk or play in groups and to use a “buddy system” or carpool plan to get to and from school. Always know where your kids are going, even if they leave the house with another trusted adult
  2. Protect your children through a child identification program, such as The Child ID Program or the FBI’s Child ID app for iPhones and Androids.
  3. Keep a list of phone numbers of other nearby parents and offer your number to these parents.
  4. Teach your kids about strangers. Tell them that a stranger is any adult they do not know.
  5. Tell your kids which strangers are safe. Store clerks, police officers, teachers, people who are behind desks in office buildings, mail-carriers, and mothers with children are generally “safe strangers”.
  6. Give your children instructions on what to do if they get separated from you in a mall, supermarket or any other public place. Tell them to first find a mother with children or any woman and let them know they are lost.
  7. Practice a secret code word with your children. Choose a word that would not be easy for a stranger to guess. Use this code word when another adult is required to transport your child.
  8. Teach your kids about the common lures used by abductors. Often, a kidnapper appeals to victims by pretending to look for a lost pet; asking the child for directions; giving or promising candy and/or money if the child will go to their car; and, threatening to hurt family members if the child does not comply.
  9. Practice screaming with your children. If a stranger attempts to talk to or grab your children, your children should know to shout, “No!” or “Fire!”
  10. Make sure that your child knows his or her full name, address, and phone number and the phone number for the place where you work or how to contact you. They also need to know how to dial 911.


If Your Child is Abducted

  1. Immediately call 911 and all other local law enforcement agencies. Ask investigators to enter your child into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Persons File. There is no waiting period for entry into NCIC for children under age 18.
  2. Request that law enforcement put out a Be On the Look Out (BOLO ) bulletin.
  3. Notify the local field off ice the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  4. Notify all local media assignment desks.
  5. Notify your local non-profit Child Locator Service (
  6. Notify the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678
  7. If you think that your child is in danger of being abducted internationally by a family member and is not yet abroad, contact the U.S. Department of State
  8. If you believe that your child has been kidnapped, contact TEAM HOPE.
  9. Log onto or refer the responding law enforcement agency to
  10. If you believe that your child has run away: Contact the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-786 2929.