If you were to ask any parent what their worst nightmare is, 99 percent would likely say having their child kidnapped. For one Arcadia, California, parent, that nightmare almost became a reality on Sunday near a picnic area in Arcadia County Park. A 6-year-old West Covina girl was grabbed by a man who attempted to lead her out of the park by the hand. Luckily, the girl kicked and screamed until the suspect, identified as 33-year-old transient Jason Bell, let her go. He was arrested nearby shortly after the incident. What’s odd is the news coverage of the story doesn't make mention of why the little girl’s parent wasn't watching the little girl.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending but far too often these types of things don’t end well. That’s why it’s all the more important that you make a plan with your child, and teach him or her about “stranger danger.” The Stir recommends tips such as telling your child to yell and scream (as this little girl did), using a code word so the child doesn't go with someone who doesn't know it, and reminding them to stay with the group, as there is safety in numbers. You should also let them know that adults should never turn to kids to get their questions answered, as this is always an attempt to lure them away.
Have you devised a plan with your child? If so, tell us what you have told him or her in order to prevent this situation from happening. How do you keep your child safe without scaring him or her about such incidents?