SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — In the wake of the unspeakable tragedy this week in Santa Cruz, where the body of 8-year-old Maddy Middleton was discovered in the dumpster of her apartment complex, child safety advocate Marc Klaas sat down with KRON 4’s Darya Folsom to discuss how kids can stay safe from predators.
Klaas advises kids to trust their gut– if something seems off, it’s wise to put distance between yourself and the situation. Never agree to go somewhere with a stranger, since predators only say and do things to strengthen their position of power.
Kids are also advised to always check with parents about where they’re going, and who they’re going to be with. Open communication is key.
Parents are encouraged to talk to their kids about safety, proximity, and never wandering off without letting someone know.
In a startling statistic, Klaas points out that almost 1 in 5 children are murdered by other children. A 15-year-old suspect has been arrested in Maddy’s murder, on suspicion of homicide.
Most of these statistics come from school shootings, but in a case like Maddy’s it’s important to stay in public places while playing. It’s also always ok to ask people for help. If a child is in trouble, tell them to ask help from a woman.
Maddy’s story is an unfathomable tragedy. Please talk to your children about the importance of safety.