Small Town Fears

Small Town Fears
By: Arnold Wyrick

COBDEN, Il. --When it comes to living in a small town, many Heartland families made the choice to do so thinking it was a safer place to raise their kids.  But in light of the recent discovery of two young Missouri boys taken from their homes, some parents are reconsidering just how safe their small town really is.
"When it was on the news and stuff I made them watch it.  And I explained to them that this could happen to you.  And what to do if it did while they were out walking, or whatever," says Zee Thomazzoli of Cobden.
His two girls have also been taught some of the other tough lessons parents are teaching their kids in small towns.
"They should never talk to anyone they don't know.  Even if they want directions, they don't need to give them directions.  It's not a good idea to talk to any stranger they don't know," Thomazzoli said.
His neighbors the Flamm's have also taught their kids how to be safe when outdoors playing, or walking their dog.
"We make sure they go in pairs, that we know where they're going.  If they're going somewhere, which route are you taking?  So that I know where they're going," says Tracie Flamm of Cobden.
The Flamm's have even coordinated with other parents in their neighborhood.
"Anymore we as parents in the neighborhood feel like we need to have somebody keeping an eye for them when they're outside," Flamm said.
And the Flamm girls even know which houses are safe houses in their neighborhood, where they can run to, if they need to.
"They have areas that are off limits.  We try to keep them in the area right around our houses," Flamm said.
"You're always second guessing yourself as a parent, as to whether you are doing all that you need to be doing.  But I also worry sometimes about being too restrictive too."