Teaching your children about stranger danger safety - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Teaching your children about stranger danger safety

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Both the family, and police involved in the Jessica Ridgeway case, are really pushing parents to talk to their kids about stranger danger.

Wyandotte County Lieutenant Kelli Bailiff takes issue with the phrase "stranger danger." She said a child's perception of a stranger differs from ours. For example, a child may see the same guy driving around the block, waving and he may not be a stranger to them. That is one of several tips Bailiff shared to help parents keep their children safe.

The tragic kidnapping and death of Jessica Ridgeway is probably a topic of discussion with most parents. Bailiff said parents shouldn't wait for a tragedy to bring it up.

Tip #1: Always talk to your kids about child abductions.

"Don't wait until something like this happens in order to have a discussion. This needs to be an ongoing discussion," Bailiff said.

She said parents need to be proactive, especially since 35 percent of abductions happen when kids are going or coming from school.

Tip #2: Walk to and from school with your kids and map out an escape plan.

"Show them – ‘I want you to run to that house. I want you to take off in that direction.' Make sure it's not a remote area. Practice, practice, practice," Bailiff said.

Tip #3: Show your child how to fight and escape if they are grabbed.

There is a new method behind how a child should fight back.

"If you start to overpower me, I'm going to come down and start kicking as hard as I can," Bailiff said while she demonstrated.

Bailiff said the reason or falling to the ground and screaming and kicking continuously is that the kidnapper is not going to waste time with someone putting up a fight. The tips are serious and potentially life-saving lessons for kids to learn.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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