Talk to Your Kids about Stranger Safety on National Missing Children's Day

Family Matters on 05.25.11

Photo: Alejandro Hernandez/Creative Commons


It's been more than 20 years since 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared in New York City on his way to school on May 25, 1979. Though Etan was never found, the anniversary of his disappearance is now marked every year as National Missing Children's Day -- and it's also a good time to talk to your kids about staying safe when they're on their own.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, more than 2,000 children a day are reported missing -- many of them taken by family members -- which is why they released a safety guide for this year's National Missing Children's Day.

The guide suggests obvious tips -- like making sure your children know their name, address, and phone number, teaching them how to dial 911, talking to them about online safety, and telling them not to take rides from strangers -- alongside must-dos for parents, like researching babysitters, teaching your kids to tell you where they're going before they leave the house, and encouraging them to put up a fuss if someone tries to grab them.

According to the NCMEC, children who yelled, kicked, ran away, or otherwise drew attention to themselves were able to escape an abductor in 82 percent of failed kidnappings.

The full list of tips -- and more information on talking to your kids about safety -- is on the NCMEC website. 

For more on missing persons, check out Investigation Discovery


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