"Stranger Danger" program provides safety tips

Published 08/28 2012 05:25PM

Updated 08/28 2012 06:21PM

CHAMPAIGN -- An attempted abduction hits too close to home for this dad, so he's doing something about it. He's starting a new program called "Stranger Danger."

He's teaming up with the Red Cross to teach families how to stay safe. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley finds out about the program.

Just one week ago, a 10-year old girl was standing waiting for the school bus when a man asked her to get into the car. She got away, but her story stayed with Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

"The potential abductor had circled the block a couple times and kept trying to lure her in the car, and finally she ran and hid in some bushes."

Eric Batsie is a manager for the organization. The little girl is a little sister in the program.

"It's very frightening."

It's the first time a child in the group has almost been abducted, but there have been six attempts in Central Illinois just since the first day of school.

"We want to make sure every child knows what to do."

So, Batsie is teaming up with the Red Cross for "Stranger Danger." The class will teach kids and parents what to watch for and secret strategies to keep them safe.

"If someone's trying to pick you up and says, 'your mom is in the hospital, you need to come with me right now,' the child should say, 'what's the pass code?' Only the parents or trusted friends should know this pass code."

The class will give parents tips they might not think about when getting kids ready for school.

"A young girl who has her hair in a pony tail, it's very easy for someone to grab that pony tail, where as if the hair is loose, it's a little tougher."

Some parents say it's sad to have to resort to these strategies, but they'll do anything to keep their children safe.

"I would really involve myself in something like that."

Stranger Danger Meeting
Monday, September 17
6 pm
Champaign Public Library

More tips on keeping kids safe:

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