How to's

How to Protect Your Child from Being Kidnapped

man walking off with child

We’ve all heard the nightmare stories of parents desperately searching for their kidnapped children. The tears and trauma of searching for years to no avail. I can not fathom the horror a parent must feel. But how do you protect your children when they aren’t with you.

Mom holding child with helment on

As with all things in life, it’s about the pre-planning, that really is the secret weapon when it comes to protecting our children. We have protective headgear and protective seats and seatbelts. Well, we also have to equip them with the tools to be able to protect themselves when we aren’t there to protect them. Below we will share with you a partial list to help you protect your child.


Like this 11-year-old girl who’s parents had thankfully helped her set up a “code word”. When the would-be kidnapper approached the girl and her friend (yes I was always under the impression if there were two kids they were safe) in a park outside Arizona, it was the “code word” that saved her life.

“The child was walking with a friend in San Tan Valley, southeast of Phoenix, around 4 p.m. on Wednesday when authorities said a white SUV pulled up to them and its male driver urged the girl to get in. The man told the girl that her brother had been in a serious accident and she needed to come with him, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said.

Instead of immediately complying, the girl asked the man for the “code word,” which she had chosen with her parents in case such a situation occurred. The man, not knowing the word, drove away without her.”

SOS written with the word help

Having a “code word” actually saved this little girls life. In 2017 The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children helped law enforcement with more than 27,000 cases of missing children. According to their website, these are the types of cases they receive.

Here are some simple ways to help protect your child from being kidnapped.

Teach your kids about stranger danger.

  • Never accept candy or gifts from strangers
  • Never go off to help a stranger find a lost dog or go to see their cute kittens in a car or box.
  • Remind your kids that adult doesn’t ask kids for help.
  • Run and scream if someone is following you.
  • Scream NO if someone tries to force them into a car
  • Scream No and run away if someone tries to touch them in an uncomfortable way.
  • Always tell a trusted adult if someone asks personal questions or exposes themselves or makes them touch the adult in private areas.
  • Always tell even though the adult made you promise not to tell.
  • Always ask permission to leave the yard house or play area to go to someone’s house.
  • Never put your child’s name on their backpack or clothing. Children trust adults that know their name.
  • Come up with a secret word that only you and your children know that will be their “code word” that only if the adult approaching them knows the code word are they allowed to go with them.
  • Make online security a priority in your family,
  •  Predators stalk kids in chat rooms always remind your child never to share any personal information. And avoid posting photos of your kids online.

Even though this list is a big one there will always be more ways to prepare and protect your children from being abducted. It all starts with preparation and not being afraid to talk to your children.

Do you have more ideas that we should add to our list?

Take good care and let us hear from you in the comments.

Kristi Linebaugh

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