The idea of a child being abducted is every parent’s nightmare. WHIZ’s Katie Jeffries spent time with the Muskingum County Sheriff today to get tips on moves your children can use to stay safe.
It is physically impossible for a child to over power an adult, but with the right techniques, every child has a chance to get away from a possible abduction safely.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz says with children, there is safety in numbers.
"I always think it is best if they are in numbers. Anytime there is one individual child somewhere the risk is going to go up, So I think if you know where your child is at, know who they are with, kind of control the environment they are in, that has a lot of do with it," says Sheriff Lutz.
Deputy Sheriff Dave Neal walked me through what a child should do if he or she is grabbed by an adult.
"Scratching…yelling ‘stranger, stranger’, stomping, kicking, biting, yelling all the time.. also grabbing here (abductor’s arm) holding on to create dead weight. Also coming down here (abductor’s leg) sitting on the foot and holding onto the leg as dead weight and the whole time screaming, yelling… never giving up on the screaming," explains Deputy Sheriff Neal.
The same techniques apply if a child is grabbed from behind.
"If I go dead weight your arms are going to come up a little bit, so you can bite and you can stomp and hair pull and yell.. yell as loud as possible," tells Deputy Sheriff Neal.
Children who are not strong enough to fight should use the dead weight technique .
"If a child is not very strong, to sit on the foot and grab the attacker’s leg and just be dead weight. Hold on for dear life and make it as difficult for that person to take the child as possible," says Deputy Sheriff Neal.
Sheriff Lutz says taking kids through these scenarios will better their chances of a safe getaway.
"You can’t be too prepared for those kinds of things and any kind of scenario that you go through with them, they will be more prepared in the future," explains Sheriff Lutz.
If children can get away from an abductor teach them to run toward a crowd and never toward a secluded area. Also, parents need to keep a close eye on their children when out in public, because most abductors are not strangers, but people they or their children already know.
Sheriff Lutz says if parents notice anything or anyone out of place in their neighborhood always call the police or sheriff’s office right away.
ZPD Phone # 740-455-0700
Sheriff Phone # 740-452-3637