It's a parent's worst nightmare to have a child abducted and killed. The fear is front and center Tuesday morning as authorities continue their search for the person who murdered 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera. Mary Ellen Fulkus, Executive Director of Keep Georgia Safe and Gary Martin Hays, founder and chairman of the organization, stopped by Good Day Atlanta to offer some safety tips for parents and children.
Keep Georgia Safe - for more information on how to prevent child abductions visit www.keepgeorgiasafe.org
Information: radKIDS Safety Tips for Parents
radKIDS training is a paradigm shift in attitude about how we prepare and protect our children. Here are some tips for parents:
1.Teach your child the four principles of radKIDS: A. No one has the right to hurt me because I am special! B. I don't have the right to hurt anyone else. C. Unless they try to hurt me and then I stop them! D. If anyone tries to hurt me, trick me, or make me feel bad inside, it's not my fault -- So I can tell!
2. Tell your child it’s not their job to help grown ups. They can be polite and get another grown up to help a grown up.
3. Don’t just tell your child what to do. Teach them how to respond instinctively to danger. Show them how to stop someone from hurting them.
4. Tell your child that no matter what happens, they can tell you anything. Share it with your parent(s) so they can fix it.
5. Listen to your children. Try not to analyze as a parent, but remember what it was like when you were their age, and think like they do.
Keep Georgia Safe suggests talking with your child ahead of time to develop a plan in the event the child ever gets lost or is separated from you:
(1) If he is lost, he needs to remain calm. He needs to stay in an open area where he can be seen. Their natural response is to wander off to see if they can find you, but this can only lead to them getting further away from you, especially if they are unfamiliar with the surroundings.
(2) The child should approach a Mommy with children or a grandmother with children and tell her that they are lost and can’t find their mommy. They should know their name and the full names of their parents. This will help in the event the store has a paging system as they can alert you that they have found your child.
(3) Make sure your child knows they are NEVER to leave the area with the adult to go look for you.
(4) You can even be proactive and suggest a meeting place in a central location - assuming the child is older - where you can meet in the event you are separated.
(5) Assure your child that you will NOT stop looking for them if they are lost. This knowledge will help him remain calm.
(6) Review these steps often with your children. Repetition and reinforcement is key!