Police have tips on how to keep older children safe - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Police have tips on how to keep older children safe

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The rescue of three Cleveland women Tuesday is a reminder to parents that young children aren't the only targets for being abducted.

"In general, teenagers are probably more apt to be the target for an abduction because they're the ones that if it's a small child you're going to be watching them more closely," said Lynn Waterworth, a captain of the Criminal Investigations Division with the Jonesboro Police Department.

 Waterworth said although Jonesboro has never had a problem with children being abducted it's important for parents to talk to their kids.

"Teenagers you know you give them a little more freedom and they think they can handle things and they tend to put themselves in situations where they are properly more apt to be abducted," she said.

Parents should talk to their kids about recognizing dangerous situations and avoiding people who make them feel uncomfortable.

"And say this is what you need to be on the watch out for and these are the things you should do to avoid putting yourself in those situations where something like this could happen to you," Waterworth said.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are 16 missing persons in Arkansas alone.

Fourteen year old Walnut Ridge teen Sidney Randall went missing in March. Police are still searching for clues to lead them to her location.

Waterworth said kids should try to get other people's attention if they feel they are in danger.

"Obviously the first thing, make noise, make sure somebody else is paying attention and will see what is going on," she said.

But it doesn't stop there, also try to leave the situation.

"If they feel uncomfortable about a situation or if they feel they might be in danger in any way, shape or form go somewhere public, go to a store or to other people and make it known that you feel like you need help or you feel like you might be in danger," Wateworth said.

Waterworth said the biggest takeaway for parents is to communicate and pay more attention to their children.

"Where your child is going and who they are with and know that you will have somebody to contact, no only them but other people they are with," she said. 

And for teens, it's important that they are honest  with their parents about where they are going.

"Kids are so worried about well I wanna go over here because I want to do this and I want to go over there so I can do that and they think well if I tell my parents this is where I am going then they won't let me go," she said.

It's also important for teens to take a friend when going places and to always try to stay in a group.

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