A March 2003 survey of 602 mothers and fathers with children in their households conducted by ADVO, Inc. for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children found that more than half (54%) of parents worry more now than a year ago about their children being abducted. Only 3% of parents said their level of concern has decreased.
Fear for their children's safety in public areas, including location-based leisure (LBE) facilities, continues to be an increasing fear for parents, and in fact, may be decreasing attendance at some locations. Designing and managing a LBE to be safe for families is crucial. It is just as important that the facility be perceived as safe by parents, as perception is reality in the mind of the guest. Every LBE should have a Code Adam procedure if a child is missing, and it should be well publicized so guests are aware of its existence. In the survey, Wal-Mart had the highest awareness level of all stores for its Code Adam program. For more about this issue and designing for safety, see our March 2003 eNewsletter article Security: A Quality-of-Place Issue.