Recently released security footage in which young children are seen taken by a strangers is disturbing.

According to Missing Children South Africa & The South African Police, the alarming reality is that in South Africa, one child goes missing every five hours.

Here’s how you can protect your family.

  • At a very early age, teach your child their name, address and telephone number and your first and last name.
  • Make sure children know how to make telephone calls.
  • Teach them how to call 10111 for help
  • Teach your child to never ever leave home without your permission. Very small children should play only in areas away from the street, such as a backyard, or in a play area supervised by a responsible adult.
  • Teach your child never wander off, to avoid lonely places, and to avoid shortcuts through alleys or deserted areas. They are safer walking or playing with friends.
  • Make sure your child goes straight home from school unless you have made other arrangements.
  • Establish strict procedures for picking up children at school, after movies, at friends’ homes, etc.
  • Teach your child to never enter anyone’s home without your approval.Teach your children to scream as loudly as possible, and that it is okay to do so when afraid.
  • If accosted by a stranger in a mall or any other public space, scream ‘This is NOT my PARENT!’
  • Teach your child to scream, run away and tell you or a trusted adult if anyone attempts to touch or grab them, of if a stranger offers them a ride.
  • Teach your child to never give any information over the telephone including their name and address, or indicate they are alone.
  • Teach your child to keep doors locked and admit only authorized people into the house.
  • Never leave children alone in a car, not even for a few seconds.
  • Have photographs taken of your children at least four times a year (especially for pre-schoolers). Make note of birthmarks or other distinguishing features.
  • Have your child fingerprinted and store the prints in a safe, easily accessible place in your home.
  • Talk to your children about child abduction in a simple, non-threatening way.
  • Listen to your child when he or she discusses anyone they have met or spoken with when you weren’t around.
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