The RCMP has released a statement on how to keep children safe in the wake of over 40,000 missing children in Canada since 2019.
According to the RCMP, 30,000 were runaways, 122 were abducted by a parent and 16 were abducted by a stranger.
The Nanaimo RCMP says the reasons for abducting a child could vary, including sexual purposes, a desire to harm the child or hurt the family, or money-related reasons, such as extortion.
Police recommend preparing for the worst in advance by putting together a “Child Safety Kit.” They say the kit helps immensely if a child goes missing.
The kit should include a recent colour photo of the child, fingerprints, DNA and the following information: age, height, weight, full names, nicknames, blood type, eye colour, hair colour, sex, ethnicity, allergies, unique features such as birthmarks, braces, glasses, tattoos, and piercings.
Mounties say children should know their own names, phone numbers and addresses. As well as their parents’ names, not just “mommy” and “daddy.”
Many parents choose to give their children a noise-making device, such as a whistle. Police recommend that if parents choose to do this, the children should be taught how to use and when it’s appropriate to use the device.
Choosing a word to use when someone who isn’t an immediate family member is picking up a child is also a common tactic.
According to police, parents should teach their children that if they are being followed, especially by a vehicle, to run in the opposite direction and make as much noise as possible.
While attending events with large crowds, such as an amusement park, parents are advised to take a picture of the children just as they enter so that security will know what they look like and what they are wearing that day.
The RCMP wants parents to teach children that police offers are trusting adults who can help them if they are lost or in need of help.
There are many tips online, but the RCMP thinks these are some that will be the most helpful in keeping children safe and aware.
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