RESPONSIBLE: Teach your kids about stranger danger

There was a period in my childhood when I was terrified of black hearses.

I don’t know if you guys remember that time in the early ’80s, when there was a story about a black lykswa driving around and stealing children.

I can’t even remember if it was true or not.

I just remember how scared I was of those cars and then for some reason us kids ended up being scared of any and all black cars.

If a black car approached, we would motor on out of there and remain indoors for the day.

Was the whole thing a hoax, or was there genuinely an incident to base it all on?

The current abduction of children is a real thing.

Police have given clarity on the issue and have asked people to please not spread fake news on social media, without verifying it first.

It’s worrisome enough without any additional and irresponsible fear-mongering.

There have been 13 abductions and attempted abductions over the past six weeks, so we can’t ignore the issue.

As parents, we have to take responsibility and make sure our children are safe, or at least street smart.

I understand most of us have jobs and are forced to send our kids to school on their own.

But there are adults at home during the day and this is an opportunity for them to have a daily purpose and serve their community.

The Walking Bus concept is brilliant and needs to be broadened to involve more community members.

Many people will look to government and SAPS to solve this problem, but the truth is, they have their hands full.

And these are our kids, so we need to put in the effort.

So here are a few pointers that I believe can help: Firstly, make sure your kids understand they must not walk to or from school alone.

They must always walk in groups of three or more. This is especially important if they are going to be distracted by cellphones and tablets.

These days, kids are walking around in public with their heads buried in their devices and only barely paying attention to their surroundings. This makes them easy targets.

Finally, and most importantly, instruct them to treat every car with suspicion, especially if they’re walking alone.

Teach them to be aware of their surroundings.

If they are ever approached, they should simply drop their bag and bolt out of there, screaming as loud as they can. Even if it is a false alarm and it’s just a delivery guy wanting to ask for directions.

Rather offend him and be safe, than take a chance.

Unfortunately, these are the times we are living in and we need all the weapons we can think of to protect our loves ones.