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The Odds of Your Kid Getting Kidnapped

Lenore Skenazy on

Kidnapping remains one of the top three fears of American parents despite its (thank God!) rarity.

One way to fight that outsized fear is to consider the actual odds of your child being kidnapped by a stranger. To gain some perspective, I gathered a whole lot of stats.

Note: It is hard to find stats that exactly match up with each other. One organization will study children ages 0-13. Another will study all kids under 17, etc. What's more, I'm not a statistician. But I'm giving it my best shot in the hopes that parents can see how NOT unsafe it is to send their kids outside, unsupervised, especially compared to ... driving them someplace!

Unintentional Motor Vehicle Traffic Injuries Are the Leading Cause of Death for Kids 0-19

The average rate is 4.4 out of 100,000 kids, from 2016-2019.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 715 children under age 13 died as car passengers in 2021 and 3,058 teens ages 13-19.


The Risk of a Child Being Kidnapped by a Stranger

The media like to report that "460,000 children go missing every year." But that number does not represent "children who are kidnapped and given new names and enrolled in a new elementary school," says University of Delaware Sociology & Criminal Justice professor Joel Best.

Instead, that number comes from a 2017 report by the Department of Justice on missing children. To qualify -- I realize that's a strange word -- a person UNDER AGE 18 just had to be missing for more than an hour.

Why don't the reporters ever mention THAT?


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Copyright 2024 Creators Syndicate, Inc.




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