Protecting Children From Predators – Part I

childNothing in life is more urgent than the personal security of our children. When plotting to protect your valuables– before anything else in your home– the safety of your little ones is certainly a top priority. And while teaching children not to talk to strangers is a good first step in protecting them from predators, there’s so much more that can and should be done. From using surveillance cameras for keeping a more vigilant watch over them to teaching children the ins and outs of household security, continue reading for worthwhile personal and home security tips aimed at keeping your children safe from predators.

Track Your Child’s Whereabouts

Thanks to modern technology, it is easier than ever to know where your child is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This becomes even more important since the first three hours of a child’s disappearance are the most crucial in terms of eventually locating her or him.  Many school-aged children carry smartphones that feature GPS technology which (if turned on) may offer information on the phone’s general vicinity. If the phone operates on a major carrier, third-party GPS applications can also be added to the device. Even with such smart technology, however, this sort of tracking only goes so far in providing security since the phone is all that is being tracked via GPS. If a child and phone are to somehow separate, how can the child then be found?

A simple and far more effective way to track a child’s whereabouts is through devices specifically designed for that purpose. Our best recommendation in this market is the SecuraPAL GPS Child Tracking Device, which features a variety of useful functions that are not found with other GPS devices, such as the ability to receive text alerts anytime a child strays outside of a predetermined route or area, and a panic button which can be activated anytime a child is lost or faced with a dangerous situation. This device also sends location information, which includes directions, thus making it one of the best GPS child safety devices to be found anywhere.

Keep an Eye Out For Every Possible Suspect

Unfortunately, dangerous strangers are not the only threats to children. They are not even the most prevalent. According to a 2002 report from the Department of Justice, nearly 800,000 children were abducted in a single year, yet only 115 of that total were believed to be stranger abductions! Instead, the majority of abductions involved family members and nearly 60,000 involved someone who the child was familiar with, but was not related to. When advising children to beware of strangers, how many parents ever imagine that a friend, a casual associate or another family member may actually prove to be a larger threat to a child’s safety?

To help keep children safe from predators– including those predators in the home, close to the home or with access to the home– it is necessary to employ surveillance in and around the home. No matter the child’s age, we strongly encourage the use of devices like nanny cams and other video surveillance systems. We even suggest the placement of a few hidden cameras around the home just to outsmart those predators whom you might never otherwise recognize. As uncomfortable as you may be with spying on people you know, just remember that a great number of adults who harm children intentionally build trusting relationships with the child and the child’s parents first and then use that friendship as a foundation to subtly lure children into secretive and harmful situations.

Teach Your Children About Home Security

Every home should offer safety from the outside world. While this is an ideal sentiment, a hard cold reality of life is that some children are assaulted at home or even abducted directly from the home. What might parents do to reduce the likelihood of a predator stealing a child from this safe haven?

For starters, every home should be equipped with a burglar alarm which should be kept armed at all times. Every member of the household, including children, should understand how the alarm system works and know how to arm it, disarm it, use the alarm’s panic button and how to input a panic code that sends a message to a monitoring company if a danger exists. And, of course, every alarm system should be monitored by a dedicated monitoring service.

Homeowners are also advised to install two-way video intercom systems such as the SVAT Video Intercom System found in our main store. Doing so ends the need for anyone in the home to ever open the front door for an unexpected visitor. With such a system, residents can see who is at the front door and verbally communicate with them through the device without having to unlock or open the front door and without ever having to disarm the security system. Used correctly, a two-way video intercom greatly reduces the likelihood of an intruder forcing his way into a home and harming anyone inside.

Stay Tuned For Part II

Protecting children from predators is not an easy topic, nor is it one that we can explore in a single post. Stay tuned into the Home Security Store blog for part two in our series on keeping children safe from dangerous criminals at home and in public. Until then, please take a moment to share your best tips on this subject in the space reserved for you below.

Additional Reading:

Key Facts About the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children

Missing Children Fast Facts

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