Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 04:09 pm

Follow these safety tips and advice to prevent your child from being abducted

We have seen so many videos doing the rounds on social media recently of attempted kidnappings in restaurants and shops. According to Missing Children South Africa, a child goes missing every five hours in South Africa.

“Human trafficking is rising at an alarming rate, but it is just one of the reasons that children are kidnapped. Children are also often taken by members of their own family. Either way, the risk of kidnapping should not be taken lightly by any parent, anywhere,” says 1st for Women Insurance spokesperson, Casey Rousseau.

You can keep your little one safe with these tips:

  1. Don’t put her name on her clothing or a backpack. If you have to mark her clothes for school, rather label them on the inside where it is not easily visible to strangers. Children often trust adults who know their name.
  2. Teach your little one not to just scream when a stranger takes her, but to scream ‘Help!’ or something similar. Toddlers often scream in shopping centres even when their parents are picking them up.
  3. Teach your child not to accept gifts or sweets from strangers. They should always check with you first.
  4. If your child is old enough, teach her your name, surname and telephone number. Even your name and surname will help if she gets lost in a shopping centre. That way, she’ll be able to tell security who her parents are.
  5. Never leave your child unsupervised – not even in the play area of a restaurant. Always make sure you have eyes on her at all times.
  6. Never ask a stranger to hold your baby, not even for a second.
  7. Never leave your child alone in a car or in a stroller – not even for a minute while you turn your back to look at an item behind you.
  8. Make sure your little one knows whose car she may get into and that she should scream and run away if a stranger tries to force her into a car.
  9. If you’ve arranged for someone else to pick your child up from daycare or preschool, discuss the arrangements with your child and the teacher.
  10. Invest in a GPS tracking device. Toddlers are very busy and it’s not difficult to lose sight of them – especially in busy shopping centres. Click here for our top watch trackers for kids.