Parents cautious after attempted kidnappings

Parents in one Metairie neighborhood are reminding their children about the danger of some strangers after a man was arrested for an attempted kidnapping.

METAIRIE, La. -- Crystal Domingue's 10-year-old son attends culinary camp at Mike Miley Playground in Metairie, the same place where deputies say 41-year-old Joseph Picard attempted to lure children away Thursday evening.

That reminded Domingue to talk with her son about strangers.

"Last night, my husband and, I we asked my son questions. ‘What would you do in this situation?’" Domingue said.

Paulette Carter with the Children's Bureau of New Orleans said it's always a good idea to have those conversations with your children.

"Even though you might have covered this once before, it's a good time to go back and revisit those things that you talked about," Carter said.

Carter said parents should try not to make children scared of everyone they don't know, though.

"Most people don't have ill intentions, but we just don't know what their intentions are so we just have to be careful," Carter said.

She recommended telling children to always check in with someone they trust before speaking to a stranger.

"If someone does approach you and you don't know who they are, back away, say 'I need to go talk to my Mom or my Dad' or whoever they're with and tell a safe adult someone approached them and ask them is that person ok or not," Carter suggested.

Finally, tell your kids to trust themselves.

"Tell kids to listen to their instincts," Carter said. "If something doesn't feel right, it's probably not right."

And while the incident in Metaire is a parent's biggest fear come to life, it's important to keep in mind stranger abductions are extremely rare.

Three percent of missing children are abducted by non-family members that the child knows and less 1 percent are abducted by a stranger.

"It's unusual, but it's an … opportunity for us to reinforce those safety practices with our kids," Carter said.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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