What kids need to know about self-defense

As parents, we want to be with our kids all the time, but sometimes work and life get in the way. With the kids back in school, they may walk to and from school, the bus stop, or even a friend's house by themselves.

So, do they know what to do if a stranger approaches them? You and your kids can never be too prepared for a self-defense situation.

The most important rule you can teach your children is how to get attention by screaming, biting, and scratching. There's more your kids can do to fight off a predator.

First Line Defender Co-Owner, Bill Hogan and Texas Krav Maga Owner Larry Escher go over stranger danger scenarios with their students on a regular basis. First, they say your kids should trust their instincts.

"Trusting your instincts means don't go into something you're not comfortable with," explains Hogan. "The way we don't get into situations we don't intend to is look and listen."

That means no playing on their phone or using ear buds on their walks.

If they do see an uncomfortable situation, Hogan says they should, "know the alternate routes, stay as public as possible, and have a plan B."

Next, Hogan says to get noticed in a good way, not just screaming.

"I don't know what 'Ahh' means, but i do know what 'Leave me alone! Get away!' means, and so does every other adult," says Hogan.

Another rule to reiterate: if they don't know, don't go.

"If you don't know that person, don't go with them, and also don't go close to them. Distance is your friend," Hogan explains.

If a predator does attack, Escher says one of the most common attacks is when a bad guy grabs a child from behind.

"The first thing they're going to do is cover the mouth so the kid doesn't scream," says Escher.

To defend him or herself, Escher explains, "The child immediately and instinctively grabs on to what grabs them and pulls down, screams help to get attention. He bites me, that makes me grab my hand, quick kick to the groin, and then he runs away asking for help."

And when a predator approaches a child head-on and throws them over the shoulder, Escher says, "All he has to do is sit up straight, push his thumbs in his eyes, push the person back until they can't hold on anymore, kick him in the groin and run away."

The best way to make these reactions instinctual for your kids is to practice again and again.

In this day and age, we rely on our smart phones to memorize important phone numbers and addresses. Make sure your kids know all of your contact info, just in case they need it in an emergency situation.

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