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'Stranger Danger' Tips for Moms

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The Jaycee Dugard case is giving every mom in America nightmares. Dr. Janet Taylor is on the "Today" show this morning to give safety tips moms can pass on to our kids.

man talking to children from his car

Dr. Janet Taylor: A Mayo Clinic survey found that many parents worry about the safety of their children. Up to one-third of these same parents report nonstop fears that are so intense that they can alter the parents' normal functioning. Can anyone say obsessive-compulsive?

I understand their ruminations. News reports are getting stranger and scarier. The recent Garrido horror is one of the most disturbing in recent memory.

The fact that eighteen years ago, a couple kidnapped, sexually tortured, and held hostage a then 11-year-old girl and the two daughters she had in captivity is mind-blowing. Luckily, stranger abductions and kidnappings are rare in the United States.

That being said, here are some tips for parents and especially moms:

1. Teach your child to memorize their name, address, phone numbers, and one emergency contact.

2. Instruct your child on how to call 911 in the case of an emergency.

3. Model good safety behavior. Check and lock doors at night. Be prepared when getting in and out of transportation (i.e., keys in hand), and report any suspicious activity to the police.

4. Practice what-ifs. For example, ask your child: What if someone asked you to help them look for their puppy? What if Mommy is taking a shower and the doorbell rings? What if someone makes you feel very uncomfortable?

5. Include Internet safety in your tips. For example, teach your children and teens not to give out personal information online.

6. Keep the lines of communication open. Listen to your child's concerns. Instruct them to talk to you about anything that scares, confuses, or upsets them.

7. Visit The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a great two-page resource guide on Stranger Danger.

Don't overwhelm your child with fear. Instead, inform them with facts.

next: Brooke Shields' Mom-amorphosis
7 comments so far | Post a comment now
anonymous September 2, 2009, 9:55 AM

THANK YOU. My parents, when I was growing up as an only child, were so afraid of “stranger danger” that I had no personal freedoms whatsoever. I wasn’t allowed to walk out of their sight with a friend until I was 12, wasn’t allowed alone in the house until I was 13, etc. I’d like for my own child to have a little more freedom than I did, but of course I have no idea how to go about that safely. Thank you for some guidelines so my own daughter can live her life safely without being under lock and key.

downlaod full movies September 11, 2010, 7:47 PM

Hmmm…very great to find out, there were without the need of a doubt numerous issues that I had not thought of before.

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