US mum has credited a secret code word with preventing her daughter’s potential kidnapping.

Brenda James says her 10-year-old daughter had been playing at a park in Arizona when she began the short walk home.

A white SUV pulled up alongside her and the male driver allegedly tried to get her into the vehicle.

“He told her that her brother had been in a serious accident and that she needed to come with him,” Ms James tells WAVY TV.

She says her daughter had a bad feeling and asked the driver for the code word she and her parents had come up with so she would know if a stranger was safe.

The man didn’t know it, so the girl ran home.

“She’s still really upset,” Ms James says. “She didn’t want to go to school today. She’s still really scared.”

The rattled mother says she and her daughter only came up with the code word a few months ago.

“I never thought it would be used and I’m very proud of her for remembering that,” she says.

“In case of an emergency we came up with a code word and this one time it saved my daughter’s life,” she adds.

Pinal County Sheriff’s officials posted a warning on their Facebook page, requesting parents use caution.

“Kudos to the parents of this child for having a code word and talking about to their children about stranger danger,” they said. “We hope by putting this out, it will encourage parents to have that conversation and create a plan with their children, so they know what to do if they are in that situation.”

Make sure you sit your children down and have a chat about a safe word they could use if anyone different attempts to pick them up!

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  • What a clever girl remembering this code word !


  • What an amazing little girl after being faced with a horrible situation.


  • I’m so glad there was a happy ending to this story because its a terrifying thing to go through! I think its every parents worst nightmare!


  • The code word is a clever idea. Good thinking.


  • OMG I’m so glad this ended well. Good idea to have a code word.


  • I have a code word with my kids too.


  • That’s a fantastic idea- I think I will try to implement a code word too.


  • Such a brave little girl. I hope she never has to use it again though.


  • What a fantastic idea. And for the young girl to use it… well done to Mum and daughter. It has clearly prevented a great tragedy.


  • great idea to hav ea code word. Kudos to the kids.


  • Wow, scary stuff. What a great idea having a codeword.


  • A good ending to one that could have had a very different one.


  • Very clever of the girl to react like she did. And indeed very scary to hear he knew she had a brother.


  • Good on the family for coming up with a safe code word and for a good ending to this story. Hope the little one starts to feel safe again.


  • Great idea ! My only fear would be that some of my kids would share this code with someone I don’t like to know this code.

    • It is such a good idea – just need to have rules around not sharing it.


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