Jakki King with her three children Photo: Contributed
Jakki King with her three children Photo: Contributed

Jakki's code words keep her kids safe from predators

AFTER the recent spate of attempted child abductions across the region, Jakki King took her three kids aside to chat about the dangers of strangers.

A child was approached near The Cathedral College on April 21, reportedly by 'a very convincing gentleman' who told the student their parents has asked him to collect the child from school as there had been a family situation and there was no one else available to collect him.

It followed an incident in Emu Park on April 19, where a '40-year-old man' tried to lure a 14-year-old boy into his car, while he was walking along Redman St.

Jakki, a Yeppoon mum, said she had always taught her children about stranger danger but the recent events had prompted her to always keep the conversation going.

"We tried to start really quite early, as soon as they are socially aware," she said.

"All my kids love people, they aren't shy, so from a very early age it kinda scared me just how approachable they seemed.

"Because they were so outgoing and drawn to other people, I had to talk to them from a fairly early age."

After reading about an abduction prevention system in a news article, Jakki made sure her kids - and the community - knew all about it.

She posted her safety tips on an online forum, and her fellow parents were especially thankful.

"My kids and I have come up with a code word that is used when someone other than myself needs to pick them up from school," she explained.

"If the person does not know the code word then they are not to get in the car, but run and get help immediately."

But the message might sink in a little more for Jakki's kids now.

"They were quite surprised to hear it was happening here, my son told me it was something he assumed only happened in big cities," Jakki said.

"It was eye opening for them to see it does happen anywhere.

"But I think it is always scary, you think, you are never really 100% safe."