Mud is everywhere. My jeans are splattered—the result of chasing after my dog who was running loose in the neighborhood. Unlike my children, my dog might go home with any stranger. Then again, I wonder, would my children ever be tricked into wandering off with a stranger? Every week there seems to be a story about an attempted child abduction circulating via email. I brought this up with Doylestown Township Pennsylvania Police Chief Stephen White who shared with me a few ideas on how to protect your children beyond telling them “don’t take candy from strangers.”
- In order to distinguish between a real police officer and an impostor, tell your child that if he is confronted by someone who claims to be a police officer, have him tell the officer to call for another one. Real officers rarely work without a partner.
- Never allow your child to give her home address or other personal information out in an online chat room or email exchange. Tell her not to assume that new “friends” online are children. Pedophiles constantly cruise through social networking sites and chat rooms looking to hook up with juveniles.
- Go to a Megan’s Law website and familiarize yourself with offenders living in your zip code. Megan’s Law is an informal name for laws in the United States requiring law enforcement to make information about registered sex offenders public. The determination of what information is released is decided on a state-by-state level. Here is state by state information about Megan’s Law. In Pennsylvania http://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us/ and in New Jersey http://www.state.nj.us/njsp/info/reg_sexoffend.html
Naline Lai, MD
© 2010 Two Peds in a Pod