Parents prepare their kids on how to avoid a potential kidnapping
Horry County, S.C. (WPDE) —
Many parents have been on edge since 13-year-old Hania Aguilar disappeared in Lumberton, NC.
Experts say communication with your kids is critical when preparing them for a potential kidnapping.
Many parents who were out in the Market Common said times have changed when it comes to the safety of their kids and some of them have implemented new techniques to keep their children safe.
"Everything is a potential threat or something that could hurt you in one way or another," said James Carbaugh who lives in Myrtle Beach.
As investigators work to find Aguilar in Lumberton, many parents are taking notes and preparing their kids for any potential threat of stranger danger.
"Our son has been told that when we come to a park or we go to any public place, every person is a potential risk unless we say otherwise," said Carbaugh.
Some parents say attempted abductions are becoming far too common and the FBI is actively investigating at least 85 kidnappings and missing persons cases so far this year.
"It happens a lot. They say, 'I got puppies,' or whatever, 'I wanna show you.' No, it's not good," said Renate Tillman who lives in Conway.
This is why law enforcement officers say having code words for kids to be used when someone offers to pick them up could save their lives.
"They know who can pick them up and who can't, but there's always, you know, that special situation where there might be somebody they don't know or don't know well, so that's why we came up with a code word," said Brenda James whose daughter escaped a kidnapping incident in Arizona.
Police also say you should have a family plan in place to let your kids know what to do if they're taken by a stranger.
There are a number of options available to help keep your kids and family safe including the Safety Central app from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The app offers a number of features like photo sharing and digital fingerprint images allowing you to act quickly should your child go missing.