Texas Center for the Missing offers back to school safety tips
The Texas Center for the Missing has issued some safety tips to help avoid child abductions during the coming school year.
The center suggests parents and children sit down together and talk about safety practices that can deter family tragedies. In an analysis of attempted nonfamily abductions, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found approximately 36 percent of attempted abductions happened when a child was going to or from school or a school-related activity, according to the release. Parents are encouraged to walk all routes with their children and review how to yell, run and tell if they are ever threateningly approached by an adult.
The release encourages residents to talk with children about school subjects and activities and be aware of each child's circle of friends.
The center suggests setting limits on internet usage and making clear how much time can be spent online. Discuss what websites they can and cannot visit, even when away from home. Create a list of websites that will be useful for school projects and reports.
If your child is in a daycare or after-school program, review all adults who will be in contact with each child, the release suggests. Ask for background checks on all day care or after-school program employees.
When new school pictures are taken, use them to update your child's ID kit, the release states. This kit should contain current information on height, weight, eye and hair color, and a baby tooth or swatch of hair for a DNA sample.
The Texas Center for the Missing is a Houston-based nonprofit organization that serves as the Amber Alert provider for the 14-county Houston and Galveston region. The center offers crisis intervention, prevention and community education services related to child abductions, runaways, internet lures and endangered adults. In 2011 alone, 10,015 children were reported missing in the Greater Houston area, according to the press release.
For more information, call 713-599-0235 or visit thetexascenter.org.
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