"10 HELPFUL HINTS FOR PARENTS"
1) Be Aware -- Especially in your own neighborhood:
- Watch for suspicious people
- Watch for strange cars or people who frequently pass by your house
2) Use the "3 W's" -- Always know where your child is supposed to be, who your children are supposed to be with, and when your children are supposed to be back home.
3) Time Is Critical -- If you suspect your child has been abducted or is missing, call 911 immediately, don't wait.
4) If your children are playing in the yard, make it the backyard if possible (fenced would be even better). If you can't be in the area with them, try to at least be in a position where you can see, or at least, hear what is going on.
5) Check people out who come to work at your house (ie babysitters, repairmen, deliverymen, etc.): A county criminal background check can be obtained for a small fee from your Sheriff's Office. Also, check the Sex Offender Registry on-line.
6) Keep Track Of What Your Kids Are Doing On The Internet: Sexual Predators are increasingly using the Internet to get victims.
7) Maintain Fingerprints and Current Photographs For Kids: Fingerprints of children can be obtained from the Florence County Sheriff's Office free of charge.
8) If You Witness an abduction, be observant, try to get:
- Accurate description of the suspect (height, weight, clothing, race, etc.)
- Description of vehicle (color, make, model)
- Tag Number (If you can't get the whole number, try to get as much as possible)
9) View Sex Offender Registry on a Periodic Basis.
10) Talk To Kids About What To Do If Approached By Strangers:
- Be aware of the "I've lost my dog, please help me find him" or "your mom and dad sent me to get you." Do not take for granted that your children are aware of these types of predators.