You’ve seen them. The mini vans that have stickers with the kids’ names, their school name and the picture of what sport they play on the back window. The parents are just showing their pride, right? Well, they are also advertising to child predators and would be kidnappers not only where their kids attend school and what sport they play, but they are telling them their names!
I cringe whenever I see these stickers on the back of cars as I know the danger. I don’t understand why parents don’t get this. I don’t know how or why this trend to advertise your kid got started or why someone didn’t raise this concern before it became popular. It is so easy to track your kids and their schedules with this information. When you advertise the fact that your kid plays soccer or any other sport at a particular school along with his name you are allowing a smart predator enough information to start tracking your family. These bad guys then can pull up to you at a light and see what the kids look like. They then will start going to games, hang out at the school, follow you home and keeping track of your schedule. They can easily blend in with other parents at events and get more information just by mentioning your child’s name and asking innocent questions. Yes, they can do all these things without the advertisement on the back of your car, but why give them more information to work with?
What can you do to protect your child? You can start by taking down your window stickers and start talking to other parents at games and school events about the risks. Ask to meet with school officials and coaches about stopping the distribution of these advertisements. Work with them about educating the parents on the dangers of these types of advertisements. Ask your local law enforcement if they would be willing to come to a school event and do a short talk on ways to keep your kids safe from predators and address the dangers of advertising your kids. Ban together with other parents and agree not to talk about each other’s kids to people they don’t know well. This will help prevent the predators from getting more information in an effort to find out more about a child. And of course, teach your children about the possible dangers and how to protect themselves.
We all love our kids and want to protect them. Show your pride to your child directly, not to the rest of the world. You protect your own identity from ID theft, you need to protect your child’s identity even more. Their very lives could depend on it.
Julie is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of subjects in her blog I’m Not A Supermom.
Subjects can include, but not limited to: Mom Tips, Money Saving Tips, Health & Wellness Tips, Horse Tips, Drag Racing Tips, Stories and more. This assorted fruit type blog has a little something for most everyone.
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