Etowah County Sheriff encouraging ‘stranger danger’ conversation early with kids

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 10:53 PM CST
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ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The Etowah County Sheriff is encouraging parents to talk with their kids about stranger danger because you can never be too careful when it comes to your child’s safety.

We’re in the midst of the holiday season which is generally filled with crowded events, crowded parades, even crowded department stores. While you and your family are out celebrating or shopping, someone in those crowds could have ill intentions.

Abductions can take place anywhere, at anytime, even during the holidays. Sheriff Jonathon Horton says when you are around a lot of people, it’s important to trust your instincts.

“Really be conscientiously aware of your environment at all times,” he added.

Some of the biggest takeaways kids should learn from these conversations include not talking to strangers, not taking anything from strangers, and not going anywhere with anyone you don’t know.

Sheriff Horton says the conversation should go even a step further because kids need to know what to do right away with no hesitation.

“You hate to say this but if it gets to the point that a stranger grabs you, do everything you can to stop him or her from pulling you away -- drop, kick, hit, bite, scream,” said the sheriff. “Whatever it takes to attract the attention of others that can help you and if someone is dragging you away, scream ‘This is not my dad. This is not my mom.’”

Creating a Child ID Kit could help law enforcement get information out quickly in an emergency and possibly save your child’s life.

“You can take a little picture from the yearbook or a small sample photo, even one you might print out yourself,” he said. “Have their date of birth, their social security office. You can go by the local sheriff’s office and put their fingerprints put there and you’ll have that readily available.”

Sheriff Horton says you can walk into nearly any law enforcement office and they should have a Child ID Kit. After completing it, he recommends keeping it somewhere easily accessible, like a purse or car glove box.

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