Child Safety

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Paul Vecker is a retired police officer with the Bay County Sheriff's Office and says when teaching your child stranger caution, tell him or her not to get in or near a car of a stranger.

"It's very, very important that parents and guardians sit down with their children to talk to them about safety and precautions about stranger abductions etc. Children are abducted in vehicles, it's not that they're grabbed, most are abducted by young people going up to a vehicle."

Barry Rosen is a motivational speaker for kids and talks about ways to protect themselves. He says, “Hit, scream and run if someone is trying to grab you, kidnappers are looking for an easy target, someone that's not going to put up a fight, that's going to yell and scream.”

Vecker says develop a code word with your child for an emergency situation.

"You can ask your child to memorize a code word, wherein when someone comes up to the child and says something happened to your mom, the child can say ‘what is the code word?'

Teach yourself and your child how to get out of a trunk. Rosen says if you're in an older car try finding the keyhole and pull the lever right next to the wires. Keep pushing until the trunk opens.

In 1998, they passed a law where you have to have a trunk release on all newer cars and inside it looks like a t and it glows in the dark. All you have to do is pull that tab and the trunk will pop open.

Most importantly, talk to your kids on a regular basis to understand what they know about stranger safety. It's also important to research new babysitters coming to your home. Talk to several sources or references. Remember, you're entrusting them with your child.