How to keep your child safe from abduction
After the death of Jessica Ridgeway this month in the Westminster, parents have been calling the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office asking for help in teaching their children how to stay safe.
In response, the Crime Stoppers of Mesa County and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is offering a free parenting class which will discuss age-appropriate lessons in safety at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 at Two Rivers Convention Center.
Orignally scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office Community room, response to the class has been so large that the office has moved the class to a larger venue. It will also start a a later time to accommodate anyone who may go to the Sheriff’s Office instead.
Between 200 to 500 people are expected to attend the class, said Heather Benjamin, public information and communication manager.
In an effort to get as much information as possible out to the public, the Sheriff’s Office has shared a list of list of safety suggested provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The NCMEC suggests the following:
·Teach your older children to always take a friend with them when walking or biking, and stay with a group while standing at the bus stop. Make sure they know which bus to ride.
·Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help. Teach your children they should never take shortcuts and always stay in well-lit areas.
·Even though there may be more safety in numbers, it is still not safe for younger children to walk to and from school, especially if they must take isolated routes anytime during the day or in darkness. Always provide supervision for your young children to help ensure their safe arrival to and from school.
·Teach your children that if anyone bothers them, makes them feel scared or uncomfortable, they should trust their feelings and immediately get away from that person. Teach them it is ok not to be polite and it is ok to say no.
·Teach your children that if anyone tries to take them somewhere, they should resist by kicking and screaming, trying to run away and drawing attention – and saying “This person is trying to take me away” or “This person is not my father/mother.”
·Teach your children not to accept a ride from anyone unless you have said it is ok in that instance. If anyone follows them in a vehicle, they should turn around, go in the other direction, and run to a trusted adult who may help them.
·Teach your children that grownups should not ask children for directions, they should ask other adults.
·Teach your children to never accept money or gifts from anyone unless you have told them it is ok to accept in each instance.
Benjamin said the class will be recorded and will be available for viewing on the Sheriff’s website at http://www.sheriff.mesacounty.us.
This class is also a part of a monthly series offered by the department regarding a variety of public issues. Those class schedule is also available on the website.