NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Ark. (KNWA) — Local parents are taking to social media to share how the use of a “code word” can protect children from abductions.
A code word is a word only known by the child and parents that can be used in several ways.
A recent abduction scare in Arizona shows that this tactic can save lives.
A child was approached by a stranger in a car. The child asked for the code word, protecting the child from a potential abduction.
Code words can also help someone get out of an uncomfortable situation.
By texting the code word to a parent, the child signals they needs to be picked up — no questions asked.
Genevie Strictland with the Morgan Nick Foundation, a local organization that educates families and law enforcement in the prevention of missing and exploited children, says a code word is just one of the many tools parents should teach kids at a young age.
“I think going over as many different scenarios as you can as often as possible with your kids is the best. And understand they are going to change, too, so as they grow the scenarios have to grow and change too. What tactics are going to be used for them are going to be different,” Strictland said.
Strictland encourages parents to be proactive and teach the four rules of safety:
1. Make sure kids check with parents or caregivers first before they do anything.
2. Take a friend whenever possible.
3. Tell an adult ‘no’ if you they make you feel scared or confused.
4. Go to a trusted adult afterwards.