What should a child do if...

United States
June 27, 2007 8:49pm CST
Awhile back I read a newspaper story about a boy who was abducted from a school bus stop. Later he freed himself from captivity and was returned safely to his parents. He said that he was so prepared because he watched McGuyver episodes, so he knew how to escape. I was surprised, though, that he never mentioned whether or not his parents had talked to him about what to do in case of attempted abduction. This is something that worries me. I'm guessing that they never thought to tell him anything on the subject. These abduction stories don't usually end so well for either child or family. I am not sure what I will tell my daughter when it is her turn to go to school. Perhaps I will simply drive her to school. What would you tell your kids to do if someone tried to abduct them at a school bus stop? Would you tell them to scream? Or, run? Please share your tips, so I will know how to protect my child and keep this from happening to us.
3 responses
@tinamwhite (3255)
• United States
28 Jun 07
I will again and have taught my older children to scream, make the loudest fuss they can.... hit, kick, gouge with a pencil, whatever they can to get others attention...usually this will throw the potential abductor off of their tracks and the child has a greater chance of escape or intervention from someone.... When our 5 year old son begins kindergarten this fall, I will drive him then and pick him up everyday...I think he is too young to ride a bus and since I can...that is what I will do...
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
28 Jun 07
That's a great question. We have always discussed that they should scream and kick and try to get as much attention as possible if someone ever tried to kidnap them but we never talked about what to do if it didn't work and they were taken anyway. We don't have "bus stops" here for the most part. Most houses are far enough apart that the buses stop at each individual house. The few places that do have a central area for the children to wait are all still within sight of each child's house. A bus stop abduction here would be really hard but I'm sure not impossible. I still think the best advice is to tell them to scream and yell and kick their abductor. I've also heard that children should be taught what to yell. Some people could see an adult struggling with a screaming child and assume that it is the parent and the child is just having a tantrum and not try to interfere. Instead of just scream the child should be taught to say/scream "Call 911/the police, He/she is trying to kidnap me...etc" Another tip I've heard that if a child is put in a vehicle, they should NOT fasten their seat belt. By having it undone it increases their chances of escaping at traffic lights or any other time the vehicle stops momentarily. They should definitely be taught to runaway anytime they are given the chance even if the abductor has made threats if they do.
@tuscon (48)
• United States
28 Jun 07
I would watch my child at a bus stop from a window if possible. Since you can not always be around when an abduction could possibly take place I would also instruct the child to both scream as loud as possible and run to the nearest adult other than the one persuing them. One idea about the bustops, take turns with other parents of the children who use the same bus stop, take turns standing watch over the childern until the bus arrives.