136 students, 18 teachers, 2 terrorists and 1 bomb. Do you need a miracle? See the Cokeville Miracle In theaters June 5.
Child abduction and school violence are a parent's worst nightmare. In most cases, parents have no control over the situation — that is why it's so scary.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the FBI assisted in more than 12,000 missing children cases in 2014. Several more cases went unreported. School shootings are becoming even more common place than ever.
Stories like the bombing at Cokeville Elementary school are enough to keep parents up late at night worrying about their children's safety. Luckily, miracles do happen and people are much better educated these days about how to keep their children safe.
Losing a child can be the most horrifying thing to happen in your life. Parents have to be diligent in teaching their children how to protect themselves from danger. Be sure to warn your child about these seven subtle tricks criminal use that aren't always easy to spot:
1. "Come and see."
Many times, abductors will approach children when they are playing in the yard, outside their homes or in a local park. Often, the stranger will use a smartphone with a game, a toy or other popular gadgets as an enticement. They let the kids play with the object for a bit, and then invite them to come and see more in their car or another location.
2. "Can you open the door?"
Asking a child to open the door is a classic trick criminals use to gain access to your home. They wait until there are no parents around, and then ring the doorbell to lure the children to the door. When the child answers, they offer a compelling reason to enter the home. Typically, the stranger will dress as a service professional (a cable man, computer technician or even a police officer).
3. "Help me!"
It can be as simple as, "Help me, I have lost my cat. Can you help me find him?" Many kids are curious and want to help — even if it's a stranger asking. A child could end up walking away from safety and into a dangerous situation.
4. Puppy trick
Almost every child on earth loves puppies, and child abductors are well aware. Many times, they will approach a child carrying a cute, little dog and invite them to play. The abductor will ask the child if they want to see more puppies or to play with the puppy somewhere else. Once again, the child can be tricked to leave and go somewhere they do not know with someone who could harm them.
Beware of strangers that flatter children about their looks. They may have a camera and try to take pictures of the child, and fake like they belong to a modeling company or talent search business. The stranger will ask the child for his or her home address and personal information. At a later date, they can use the information to go to the home to abduct the child.
A common trick is to approach a child and tell them something has happened to their parent. They convince the child that their parents sent them to pick them up. This trick can be tricky. Emergencies usually cause a sense of panic. This can lead a child to blindly follow anyone that helps him or her feel calm in the midst of chaos.
Children, like most human beings, are excited about receiving free stuff. This excitement may lead them into a trap crafted by the perfect stranger. The abductor may use free ice cream, candy, toys or anything exciting to a child to lure them into their car.
There are many situations that are dangerous for children. Help your child understand these different situations, and teach them how to respond appropriately.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, you can't always be there to keep your children safe. Trusting that God and his angels will protect them is sometimes all that you can do.
Witness the true story of when children put their faith in people they trusted to help lead them through a dangerous situation to safety in the motion picture, "The Cokeville Miracle" now available on DVD and Blu-ray.