JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Would your child know what to do if someone tried to lure him or her away? Just this week the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office warned of a possible attempted child abduction from a park in Nocatee. That suspect has not been found.
This weekend about 50 Girl Scouts in Baker County will take part in an anti-kidnapping seminar lead by Gary Belson. Belson has an extensive background in special security operations. We invited him and some of the Girl Scouts to come to the First Coast News studio to share his tips.
His number one piece of advice, teach your child to stay alert and not get in a position to get kidnapped. Belson says they need to use their voice to scream loud, "Help. Fire. Help. Fire."
"Playing tag around the car," explained Belson. "By running around they are putting something between you and the bad guy or the person attacking you and attracting attention and hopefully extending the time that people will have to get there to you."
Jennifer Theus is the mother of four and a Girl Scout leader in Macclenny.
"They definitely need these skills. i see these little girls walking to the corner store every day. We are in a small little town. It's a safe little environment, but you never know what's going to happen," said Theus.
Belson shows the girls the triangle of strength.
"You are going to step back with your body weight here, turn, run. Scream help, fire, help, fire, and it does work," said Belson.
If your child is knocked down or falls on the floor they Belson says they should use their legs to keep the attacker away.
"The person is running around and you are actually spinning around just like you are riding a bicycle but kicking as hard as you can yelling, help, fire, help, fire. You are attracting attention," said Belson.
He is also teaching them what to do if they find their friend playing with a gun or see anyone with a firearm. He says ask your child what they would do, and their response may surprise you.
Belson said, "They answered in ways that were not safe like take the gun away from them, unload it, throw it in the trash. No. All you can teach a child to do, a young child is you see the gun, run, help, gun, help, gun, and a child can run to an adult and point to the person with a gun."
Belson says he offers his anti-kidnapping seminars free of charge. You can contact him through his website.
First Coast News