According to the FBI, a child goes missing or is abducted every 40 seconds which amounts to 2,000 children per day. Authorities in Cleveland now say Castro lured the young women into his car. So with the help of the Bay County Sheriff's Office, we've compiled a list of suggestions for you to pass on to your children
1. Be wary of strangers. Instead of telling children not to talk to strangers, teach kids to make judgment calls not based on what a person looks like but, rather, their behavior and what they want you to do.
2. Always use the buddy system. Parents should keep an eye on their children, everywhere they go.
3. Guard your child's privacy. Do not put your child's name on clothing or backpacks. Predators can use the knowledge to catch the child off guard.
4. Use technology to your advantage. If you think your child is old enough to handle the responsibility, cell phones are a great tool for children to reach out for help and to give parents some piece of mind.
5. If you're headed somewhere, go with a purpose. Being distracted can allow others to take advantage of you.
6. If someone does get a hold of you, fight for your life.
Major Tommy Ford with the Bay County Sheriff's Office says they take cases involving missing or abducted children very seriously and will go to great lengths to locate them.
"I can't think of anything more serious from a law enforcement perspective that we would take all our resources and coordinated effort to try to find the child. The bottom line is to reduce any opportunities that someone would have to perpetrate that type of act."
Ford also suggests registering your children in the "Child ID" program. If ever needed, this ID kit will give authorities vital information to assist their efforts to locate a missing child.
The number one question parents ask is, what is the right age as to when your child should be permitted to go out alone. While there is no magic number, typically, when children are around 12 or 13 years old, authorities say they are more aware of the risks and are more conscious about when to reach out for help.