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It can be easy to put the problem of “human trafficking” far away from your neighborhood and your children. It sounds far more exotic than it really is, and it may not fit the narrative of your lifestyle if you live in a quiet suburb.

Everyone is friendly; you leave your kids at school and extracurricular activities all the time. You may even let them go out with friends without adult supervision after a certain age.

No, you do not need to be paranoid, but being paranoid is different from being aware. Your children are relying on you to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to safety issues, even if they do not tell you this.

No matter how old your kids are or how safe you think they may be, here are some precautions that you may need to consider.

Use the Phone

As they say, “There’s an app for that.” The safety of your children is no exception. The GPS that gets you from place to place can also be used to track your kids.

The same social media accounts that your children use to keep in touch with their friends should be used between family members. Check their email as well. You never know how predators may be trying to get in touch with your kids.

Run a Vigilant Community

Become a news reporter in your community. No, you don’t have to run around soliciting interviews. However, you do need to know what is going on in real-time and be aware of any hotbed topics.

You should never have the attitude that “it won’t happen to me.” Pay close attention to the people who are living around you. If you live in certain states, you can check where sex offenders live. For instance, California makes it easy to find predators using the Megan’s Law website.

Know What Trafficking Looks Like

Understand what a victim of trafficking looks like. If you don’t recognize the problem when it is in front of you, that means it is closer to your kids. Pay attention to children who exhibit poor mental health.

If your child has friends who complain of having to work without breaks, working to pay off some weird “debt” or a child who never seems to have parental supervision, you should keep an eye on the situation.

If human trafficking is happening near you, you need to know about it. The statistics say that it is probably closer to you than you think. Make sure that you understand the problem so that you can protect your children with a higher level of knowledge.