Family Car Decals: Are they dangerous?

It’s almost impossible for me to drive anywhere in Los Angeles these days without seeing a ton of soccer mom SUV’s that have the ever trendy family car decal stickers on the back window. Although most of the cars I see with the family car decals do not include each family members name, I am concerned about the few that I have seen that do. It raises a very important matter in regards to family safety.

With all the recent reports of stalkers online, and predators trying to chat with underage kids on popular network sites like MySpace, I thought about how easy it would becar decal for a child predator to convince a child to let down their “stranger guard” if the predator seemed to know the family members by name. For example, little Izzie (names are taken from the picture) is walking home from school when a stranger pulls up next to her. The stranger has seen the family vehicle in her driveway and has memorized all the names that appear on the family car decal, even the dog Merlin. This potential child predator could easily call little Izzie by her first name, spew off some fictitious story about how her mom, Pete and Tina, wanted him to pick her up because they were out looking for Merlin, the “lost puppy”. Yeah, a bit cliche, but think about how easy it would be. Izzie would probably suspect the man knew her family, and could quiet possibly get into his car. What sick perverted man would do something like this is beyond my knowledge, but it happens every day. Yet I still am amazed at the selfishness of parents who would put something that could potentially endanger their child’s well being.

I’m reminded of a safety video I had to watch at an old job. The video discussed such things as workplace safety, how to lift properly, how to avoid danger from angry customers, etc. One part of the video touched on a topic about walking to your vehicle at night time after work, and discussed how you should not leave something inside your vehicle, in plain sight, that could identify you, such as a piece of mail with your name on it. Then the video proceeded to show a reenactment of a man stalking a lady who was walking to her car, and called her by her first name, which tricked her into letting down her guard. You would think something like this would be common sense to the majority of people, but again, I’m shocked at the amount of drivers out there that don’t know the danger they are putting themselves and their family into.

Thanks to for letting me use their image.

19 thoughts on “Family Car Decals: Are they dangerous?

  1. Me and my wife were just talking about the SAME THING the other day..They may not be “selfish”, but they are certainly not too smart about their kids’ safety.

  2. I also live in the LA Area and on top if it I make those custom decals mentioned. I personally will not make the decals with names on them for the very reason you discuss. I remember as a kid they talked about not having shirts with names on the back for the same reason. This concern has been around for a long time. Some people simply don’t think.

  3. I have been bothered by this for quite a while now. It is true that there should be no names of family members on vehicles but I would go a bit further. Even having cute little pictures of a family would result in a devastating situation. For instance, I noticed a vehicle of a family member who has a new baby. It has the decals that include the father, the mother, and the new baby. Anyone who is desperate to have a baby or who sells them would love to see an “advertisement” such as this. All they would have to do is follow this family home, then come back later to “collect”. Even having a decal such as these of older children puts a child at risk of kidnapping. I realize how the family, soccer ball and such decals are a cute idea. Nevertheless, I would never want to risk the safety of my family just so I can have a novelty item.

  4. I got it as a present from a friend and still is in the box, I wasn’t sure if it was safe to let the world know about my most precious possession. Thank you for opening my eyes , I thought they were cute until I read this. I guess it will go to the garbage now.

  5. Wow! Are we a little paranoid? Do you use fake names when you’re out in public too? Maybe pretend to be two single-parent families? Talk about your make-believe homes in different neighborhoods?
    Education is the key here people… not hiding! Make sure your kids never talk to strangers… tell them that only a friend of the family THEY KNOW would ever come to get them. I agree it’s a dangerous world out there, but we can’t hide our kids away with fear and anxiety. Life’s too freakin’ short!

  6. People are too freaking paranoid about stalkers already. I once talked to this gurl I found on a social networking site who happend to be from my village and she completely freaked. I hate this unfriendly “each man for himself” culture that comes along with this paranoia

    in other news i been talking to strangers all my life and i’m here to tell the tale. its not as bad as people think it is. also never talking to strangers will reduce your ability to tell if the stranger is good or bad.

  7. Just a question, for those who are so worried about these cute precious stickers. Would just a car seat in the car not give away the fact you have a baby? Come on people!

  8. I have to say that I’m sure the likelihood of this happening is slim to none. But I do appreciate the fact that you have posted this idea so that we as a web community can discuss it and come up with ways to defend our family against those that would seek to take advantage of our children.

  9. Although I think the idea of the stickers are cute because it’s showing you are proud of your family and operating as one, I do think it’s strange to include the names. Yeah I agree, the chance of this happening is probably slim to none. However, slim is too much for for children’s safety. It’s all a matter of opinion I guess.

  10. Wow, I wish I would’ve read this BEFORE I ordered one for my younger Daughter for her family!!! Crap!! There are sick-o’s out there!

  11. I have one for more the 3 years (no names) and I never have any problem and I will buy a new car and I will put a new decal with my 4 kids my dog and my cat.
    I think de problen de all off you have is the town the you live. I live in Mason, OH and anyone worried about that

  12. I don’t think putting your kids names on your windows is the safest thing to do. Other that that, I don’t see anything different than putting the stickers we’ve all wanted on your car like… I am the proud parent of an honor role student at Whatever Middle School.

  13. The DC Internet Caucus panel on kids and predation has determined that the media has misrepresented the way that children are preyed upon. Although we want to protect our children, being realistic about threats is important because overprotecting them can be just as harmful. Just think, if you teach your children to jump from every shadow, they may grow up to believe that stickers on a car might actually make your child more vulnerable to a child predator.

  14. As a child abuse awareness volunteer who works hand in hand with law enforcement dealing with child abduction and abuse rescues, I applaud this blog and admonish anyone who just doesn’t get it.

    This has nothing to do with paranoia! It has everything to do with taking off those rose colored glasses and seeing the world for what it is.

    Just the other day I saw a set like this with the names beneath the images. On the right side was a sticker with the name of the grade school, on the left was the name of the boy’s little league team. In the mirror hung the ID badge for the mom who worked as a nurse at a local hospital. On the windshield was the husband’s military decal with his command location.

    To the people condemning this blog and throwing around words like “paranoid”, can you step off the island of denial for a moment to realize how easy it is to abduct these children? Every bit of pertinent information schools ask when someone comes to pick up a child in the event of an emergency was right there on the outside of the vehicle.

    And to the wise-arse who mentioned the car seat – most children over 6 use booster seats, and when the other parent is transporting them, the seat will be in use in a different vehicle. A carseat, also, does not name the child, the child’s school, the child’s extracaricular activities, or the mom or dad’s full name and work address!

    Before you tell people they are paranoid for thinking of the safety of children, do a ride-along on a child abduction/rape case. Get educated before you insult those of us who live in the real world.

  15. Evie, I’m a realist but while you think we are viewing the word through rose colored glasses, I think you are jaded because you work with the problem.

    When I worked as a quality assurance engineer my job was to find problems and when I left the office I continued finding problems. I found billboards with misspellings. Newspapers with poor grammar. Stuff in my life that was assembled wrong. And so forth. But the truth of the matter was that although these were “problems” for the common person, and on the grand scheme of things, they were inconsequential.

    I think the quality of our life, and the ability for our children to grow up confident rather than afraid, out weights over the top paranoid reactions to events that have a low likelihood of ever happening to most people.

    I am a scout leader and have been trained on child safety and protecting our children. I am a father of five. I want no harm to come to my children or anyone else’s. But like the woman who allowed her 9 year old to travel the subway alone, I want my children to live life to its fullest. ( I want them street smart but trusting because I believe by breeding trust we help make the problems go away. Don’t treat symptoms; treat problems. Ask the adults around you and I think you will find most of us lived as a child safely being away from home all day long and not abiding by any of the safety recommendations of this day and we all turned out okay. Using reasonable safety measures and common sense makes our children very safe today.

    Yes, abductions are easy. So is drowning but that didn’t stop me from taking my children to the ocean and letting them have the time of their lives this summer.

    I feel bad for the children Evie has had to help. They should have never been in such a predicament. Isn’t it true that most child abductions are by friends or family? or someone otherwise close to the victim? If so, the stickers really don’t make a difference do they? According to, 75% of abductions are by friends or family ( with most abductions being by a parent in a custody dispute.

    Evie, you do not live in the real world. You live in a microcosm and broadcast it upon the real world. No insult intended.

  16. Hi I am doing a paper for school and could use some real life stories on the subject of window decals.

    I wonder how many people even think about it. A theif or stalker can almost get your entire life story off your car windshield. They can get off your paring permits where you work, where you live, where you and your kids go to school. If you go to events which ones you go to. They can then piece this information together, well lets see they work at the local plant, and live at the ? apartments, their kids go to ? school which is have a game today. Or if you work at a utility company and you park in a shopping center. Next to a customer that just had their utilities turned off. Guess who’s car they are going to vandelise. Would appreciate any real life stories on this premise. And please be careful about how much information you put on your car for the whole world to see..

  17. Hey! I’ve recently wrote an article on this very topic at associated content. The thing is, I really haven’t been aware that this has been going on for so many years. I mean, I have seen these stickers before, but payed no mind to them, as soccer moms have their mini vans flooded with all types of decals that I simply take no interest to their detail. My mother-in-law, however brought this to light for me recently and as I researched, I’ve learned that this type of activity is inviting unwanted approaches from all types of criminals. These comments are posted in ’07, ’08 and ’09, and yet today in 2011 parents are still using them. Such ignorance I feel sometimes. Of course there is no statistic on it, but I bet with all of the past abductions and other harms to children, many of them came from predators retrieving information from things like these family stickers and decals. Perhaps a number should be put on this to bring more awareness. Nice article!

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