Jerry Keller offers this advice:
1) Be suspicious of any adult who pays special attention to your child for no specific reason.
2) Know where registered sex offenders live. Law enforcement Web sites offer easy ways to check where registered sex offenders reside. “Take your child by the house and say ‘There’s this person in this house. He is not supposed to be around children. If he contacts you, tell him “I don’t want you to talk to me.” Then come home and tell me.’ ”
3) Educate your kids about bad touch/good touch. Children are more likely to be assaulted by people they know, not strangers. “In a tactful way, you’ve got to tell them: ‘If anyone tries to touch you in a bad way – yell or scream.’ ”
4) Monitor online use. Computers should be in common spaces in the home, with password protections when parents are away or asleep. Keller highly recommends the Web site www.NetSmartz.org.
5) Trust your intuition. Creepy feeling about an adult? Keep your child away. End of story.