The One Word that Could Save Your Child’s Life
The Pinal County Sheriff's Department praised the girl and her family for using the code word system for safety and thinks that one word may have saved her from being kidnapped or worse.
All parents should consider implementing this very simple system with their own children and make it clear that anyone picking them up should use the code word.
Here are some considerations:
- Make it clear that the child should ask anyone picking them up unexpectedly for the code word, even if it is someone they know, such as a grandparent, neighbor, or friend. This is a clear rule that won't leave any room for doubt or require your child to make a judgment call.
- The word should be simple enough for all family members to remember, but hard to guess. If your child has a cute word they mispronounce or another unusual way of saying something that could be a good choice.
- Emphasize to your child that they should never tell anyone their safeword.
- Consider giving each child their own code word as an extra security measure.
- If the code word is ever used, choose a new one.
- Periodically remind your child of their code word and when to use it.
- Once you choose a code word, engage in periodic role play so your child can practice using the code word. Change the scenario when one time you are a friend of Mom's and another time you are a stranger.
In addition, speak to your children about “stranger danger.”
Do you use a code word? Let us know!