Parents can help prevent runaway cases - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Parents can help prevent runaway cases

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

It's becoming a common occurrence - police requesting help in bringing runaways back home. Just in the past couple of weeks, teenagers in Marbury and Prattville left home and haven't returned.  Experts say there are ways parents can reduce the likelihood of their child running away.

"When kids get to be teenagers, they're going through a lot of stuff anyway, but it's so important to stay consistent with them, said Jannah Bailey, Executive Director of Child Protect. "And to still be as involved as you can be and interested."

The National Runaway Switchboard has signs parents can look out for to detect whether their teen is planning to run away:

Changes in behaviors or patterns

Rebellious behavior

Disclosure of intentions to run away

Accumulation of money or possessions

Bailey said Child Protect often deals with the after-effects teens face when they decide to run away.

"Maybe they were molested, or offered or made propositioned to and because they've hooked up with somebody on Facebook," Bailey said.

Experts say many teens run away because of problems at home, but bailey says running away is not the answer.

"Trust an adult, maybe someone else in your family, tell them what's going on, continue to tell them."

Parents or teenagers needing help can call 1-800-RUNAWAY.  More information can be found here.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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