This morning while dropping the babe off at school I noticed the vehicle in front of me had stickers on the back window advertising what activity their child was in as well as their name. From what I could tell “Harper” is in some sort of cheerleading type activity.
I don’t know about you, but seeing these types of stickers plastered across vehicles terrifies me. To me, these stickers are an advertisement to predators. These stickers tell people that you have children, what activities your children are in and even your children’s names. When I see these stickers I feel you might as well slap a sticker on your bumper that says, “Please, come steal my child!”.
The stickers give child predators a leg up. If they are watching your child from a distance, they now also know your child’s name and what kinds of activities your child likes. They could easily use that information to try to begin building a relationship with your child. Let’s say “Johnny” plays soccer and his parents have a sticker of a soccer ball with Johnny’s name underneath it on the family van. Let’s say after the soccer game Johnny gathers his belongings and trudged to the family van in the parking lot while his Mother finishes up a conversation with another parent about car pooling. A child predator sees Johnny waiting next to the van and strikes up a conversation. “Hey, Johnny! You put forth a lot of effort in that soccer game today, good for you! I’m Ryan’s Uncle (insert a common popular kids name) I was watching from the sidelines.” This could be an in for the child predator to put Johnny at ease. If this person knows this stuff about them and they are supposedly a relative or another player on Johnny’s team that person can’t be dangerous, right?
Some of you might think I’m just being paranoid, but I clearly remember an episode of Criminal Minds in which the predator uses the stickers on the family van’s window to kidnap the children. It might not be the most likely scenario used by child predators, but it certainly makes it a little more easy for them. I, myself, will not be taking any chances with my child by advertising their name and extracurricular activities on the family car and I hope you will reconsider too. (or at least leave their name off. . .)