FLORIDA, USA — In Florida, a parent's worst nightmare was caught on camera when a man saw an 11-year-old girl playing in a patch of grass. The video shows him running out of a white van and grabbing her. Luckily, the girl was able to fight him off and get free.
The video is starting conversations online about how families can keep kids safe from attempted kidnappings. And while only around 25% of abducted children are taken by strangers, the FBI recommends parents talk to kids about what to do if they are approached by strangers.
They said it's best to start talking to children sooner rather than later, and that parents should teach children to run and scream if someone they don't know tries to force them to go somewhere. Parents can start the conversation by asking children if they know what a stranger is.
Some experts recommend emphasizing that not all strangers are bad people while talking to children about staying safe. They said parents should talk about strangers who children should trust, such as new teachers or doctors. Use those examples to differentiate from people they shouldn't trust.
Officials also recommended families create a code word for children. That way, if kids hear the code word, they'll know they can trust a person.
However, they also urged parents to remember that most abducted children are not taken by strangers. Most of the time, abducted children are taken by a family member or acquaintance who parents may know personally.