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Speak to your kids about ‘stranger danger’

SEATTLE — On the heels of the Cleveland abduction case, a lot of parents are taking the opportunity to talk with their children about stranger danger.

crime-scene-tape-police-lightsIt is one of the sad, unfortunate and all too often tragic realities that we can’t always be near our children and we can’t always protect them.

There will always be those who want to do them harm.

“I think everybody can understand the difference between when somebody is trying to be nice to you and wanting to pull you into a car or lead you away from what you are doing. I say that`s the communication that you want to continue to have with your child to develop that instinct. That`s what`s going keep you safe,” Bellevue Police Department spokesperson Carla Iafrate said.

The events in Cleveland this week serve as a great reminder to talk with our children about stranger danger.

These girls lost a decade of their lives after they were abducted, missing family, friends and an education.

Now parents can, not only, celebrate their return but share an important lesson with their children.

“It`s a good opportunity to talk to your kids about what`s gonna happen when a car drives by when they`re walking home from school and somebody`s saying get into my car. You want to say no, you want to yell, you want to run into a neighbor`s house. You want to get away,” Iafrate said.

No place is immune to the danger.

Here in Washington there are more than 70 open missing persons cases right now in our state.

You might recognize some of these faces, among them, a 2-year-old from Bellevue who vanished 18 months ago, little Sky Metalwala.

Information can help your child stay safe.

“There`s a fine line because you don`t want to scare them but you want to communicate with them that it`s important that they need to be aware out there. Any time ages that they start to walk to school maybe 7 all the way up and this is important for adults too,” Iafrate said.

The conversations don’t take long but experts say once is not enough.

Talk with your children often about the danger.

Help keep them safe until they can take care of themselves.

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