We are mama bears when it comes to protecting our children. But we can’t be with them 24/7 and that is why teaching them self-defense and safety awareness is so important. Here is a list of self-defense techniques that every child should learn before they head to daycare or stand at a bus stop.
OCT 08, 2022
11 Self-Defense Moves for Children
Our children are vulnerable in today’s twisted society and teaching them “stranger danger” is not enough to keep them safe. More than 400,000 child abductions occurred in the U.S. during the year 2020.
Teach your child how to escape an attacker and then practice, practice, practice. Make time each week to practice and you can even make a game out of it; but regular practice of these self-defense moves will ensure that your child remembers them in an emergency.
“Children can run between objects that an adult cannot. ”
1. Your Small Size is an Advantage.
A child may be smaller than an adult, but they are also quicker and nimbler. They can fit between objects that a full-size adult cannot.
Play a game with your child and teach them to run from you between things that you can’t fit through or are hard for you to maneuver around. For example, chase them between your parked cars in the driveway, around the mailbox or around the furniture.
The Sandy Springs Police Department in Atlanta, GA has put together a great video demonstrating some of the self-defense tactics for your children that we discuss in this article. We’ve posted it at the end so that you can see the self-defense techniques for children in action. It is very possible for a small child to escape if they know how to do so.
2. Flight or Fight Stance.
If your child is approached by an attacker, teach them to be ready to respond in the ‘fight or flight’ stance. This stance is achieved with legs spread apart for good balance and with one foot offset in front of the other so they can rock back and forth on their feet. Your child’s arms should be raised and in front of their bodies so they are ready to react.
They can pivot on either their front or back placed foot depending on whether they need to kick the attacker or are able to turn and run.
3. Proper Punching.
Teach your child how to make a proper fist so they don’t break their thumbs and are able to punch with maximum force. Remember, wrap your thumbs around the outside of your fist so that it doesn’t get crushed and broken when punching an attacker.
4. Drum Solo Please.
“We teach our children not to bite. Teach them there is an exception.”
5. Stomp the Bug.
An act as simple as stomping on an attacker’s foot can be enough for your child to escape to safety. The 'stomp the bug' self-defense move is simply that. The toes and the area on the top of your foot, especially where it meets the ankle, are tender. Most people will recoil if they are injured in that area and provide an escape opportunity.
6. It's OK to Bite Sometimes.
We teach our children not to bite. We should also be teaching them that there is one time when it is OK to bite. Biting an attacker will cause them to release their grip and also (hopefully) leave a nasty mark for law enforcement to identify the attacker.
7. Yell, Scream and Don't Stop.
It goes without saying that you should yell as loud as you can when someone is trying to abduct you. However, this is a horrific scenario that can cause us to freeze and panic.
The attacker may even threaten to kill you if you don’t stop screaming. Teach your child to yell through it all and defy an attacker’s threats. Anything that brings the attention of bystanders is going to be an advantage to your child.
8. Use Your Panic Alarm.
All children should be carrying a panic alarm on their backpack or in their pocket. Panic alarms emit a very loud and high-pitched emergency alarm that will draw the attention of anyone in the area. A panic alarm will scream for your child when your child cannot. Practice using this with your child so they know what to do the second they are in danger.
9. Distraction Causes Reaction.
It’s a proven fact that when something is thrown at us, we instinctively will react to avoid being hit. Teach your child to use this to their advantage and escape. Teaching them to throw their backpack, shoes, a rock or whatever they have in their hands at the attacker’s groin area and/or face (depending on your child’s height) may create an opportunity for them to escape.
10. Tickle Time Training.
Teach your child to wiggle, squirm and do whatever they can to make themselves harder to hold onto. Little ones remember this technique best when you teach them to pretend they are being tickled so bad they can’t stand it.
11. Escape and Run.
It’s just as important to teach your little ones what to do after they escape as it is to teach them how to escape.Panic does strange things to us and something that seems to need no explanation, requires practice and training beforehand to ensure we react the correct way when we are terrified and traumatized.
Teach your child to always run away each time you practice these self-defense techniques. It’s worth noting, they should still be screaming the entire time they are running because you have taught them to yell without stopping in the above safety tip.
It’s an unfortunate fact that less than 1% of child abductions are at a stranger’s hands. 99% of the time, your child will know the person who abducts them, so it is important that they understand these rules apply to everyone.
Parents can also purchase a GPS tracker, such as the CareGo Smart Personal Alarm, to boost the safety of their children. The Care Go will send an SOS with real-time GPS tracking as long as your child’s smartphone is within 100 feet of the tracking device.
While your child may be too young to carry a cell phone, this is a great option for parents when taking their child into crowded events such as amusement parks or big box stores. If your child does wander off, they will still be connected through the tracker and your phone.
Teaching small children how to escape an abductor is possible despite the size difference. For parents, the most difficult part of these self-defense tips for children is scheduling the time to practice them on a regular basis. It’s arguably the most important part of this process too.
Practicing self-defense techniques, no matter what age you are, is vitally important to recalling them in an emergency situation. You want these tactics to become second-nature to your children so they remember them when they need them most.
Defense Divas® Child Safety Collection has a wide selection of self-defense products that are age appropriate for those under 18. Give your littles the advantage in an emergency situation by equipping them with a panic alarm or kubotan self-defense keyring.
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