How to Escape a Zip-Tie, A “Must See” for All Kids???

Here’s another viral video people are sharing — a short and actually kind of impressive lesson by a girl showing how to escape from a zip tie, “In case you ever get kidnapped.”

Except…kids don’t need to KNOW how to escape from a zip tie. They are not going to be zip tied. Making them think about it is kind of like inserting a horror movie in their hearts: “Hey honey, don’t worry  if the bad man snatches you, because you’ll know how to get out of zip ties if that’s what he uses to tie you up and not, say, actual handcuffs, or a rope, or a chain, or if he drugs you first or…never you mind. It’s all good! Just learn how to get out of a zip tie!”

What we really need is a viral video teaching kids how to look both ways before crossing the street. – L

P.S. Do all children have to wear lace-up shoes now, JUST IN CASE??

P.P.S. Want to create a SUPER viral video? Show a kid getting out  of a zip tie after being snatched from her mom at Ikea!

.

.

Lessons for today’s kids: “A” is for “Abduction,” “B” is for “Bad guy in the bushes.”  And can you guess what “Z” is for?

, , , , , , ,

38 Responses to How to Escape a Zip-Tie, A “Must See” for All Kids???

  1. Barak A. Pearlmutter April 9, 2017 at 8:41 am #

    Oh don’t be a spoil sport! This is fun, like playing dead if attacked by a bear but stand up tall and scream and wave your arms and spread your jacket like wings to make yourself look big and fierce if a mountain lion comes close. How to escape from quicksand? (Don’t panic, you won’t sink all the way in.) How to make a lean-to for emergency shelter in the woods. How to find north without a compass. How to pick a lock. These things are fun for kids, and help them feel in control of (and actually *be* in control of) their environment, and learn common-sense physics and how objects in the world actually work.

    I did not know that zip ties would break easily if heated or that running a string back-and-forth over them would heat it enough to make it break. That’s really cool!

  2. Edward Hafner April 9, 2017 at 8:57 am #

    Sell all you stock in kids’ velcro shoe makers!

  3. Cindy Karlan April 9, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    Someone I know recently posted this on FB, and I responded similarly–that it foments fear, that child abductions are not common (and most are by family members), and that there are other ways to handcuff a person. You’ve trained me well!

  4. Ben April 9, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    What about a video: How to escape zipties in case you want to do an impressive magic escape trick for your friends? That’s way more likely than kidnapping.

  5. Ken Hagler April 9, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

    There actually _are_ kidnappers who snatch people off the streets and zip-tie them. They’re called “police,” and they use zip-ties when making mass arrests of protesters.

  6. Alanna April 9, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    She did use her mouth in the beginning of the video so this might not work if your mouth is duck taped. Also, I wonder how it would be done if your hands are zip tied behind your back. Criminals watch these videos, too, so now they are going to be taking steps to make it harder to remove zip ties and duck tape.

  7. elizabeth April 9, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

    I can chew through anything. I dont need a string. On a more serious note, why does this girl even have the idea in her head? Id escape from a zip tie just to prove that i can. This is fear mongering at is finest.

  8. Christopher Byrne April 9, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

    That was a very instructive video. I’m glad to have it. I jettisoned all the zip ties that I had in my beat up white van and went down to the police supply store and bought some handcuffs. I also saw a full peg of zip ties at Home Depot today, so I guess all the other thousands upon thousands of people who want to spend a beautiful Sunday abducting some little kid got other ideas, too. Because duct tape was almost completely sold out. Or, perhaps, the two have nothing to do with one another. You can never be sure.

    I would give this video a lot more credence if the child were on her back in the trunk of a decrepit Ford Taurus.

    All kidding aside (I do hope you know I was kidding.), the quest for YouTube celebrity and viral content is causing people to lose their minds. File all this garbage under F (for fantasy OR failure).

  9. Vicki Bradley April 9, 2017 at 2:01 pm #

    It’s great that she broke the zip tie but then wouldn’t she trip over her shoelaces as she tried to make her getaway?!

  10. Dingbat April 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

    @ Barak A. Pearlmutter

    Conduct a Gen X poll and find out how many of us thought quicksand was every freaking where as 60s – early 80s kids.

  11. Dingbat April 9, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

    AAAAARRRRRRTTTTTTAAAAAXXXX!!!!!

  12. Donna April 9, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

    Darn. My daughter has pull shoelaces. Better run out to buy her new shoelaces for when she gets kidnapped.

  13. James Pollock April 9, 2017 at 3:25 pm #

    I support encouraging and developing kids’ ability to think laterally and solve problems creatively.

    Most people won’t be shipwrecked on a deserted island, either, but that’s how a lot of lateral-thinking challenges begin.

    A kid with strong lateral-thinking abilities will be more likely to escape a kidnapper… and better at a whole lot of other things, too.

  14. Stephanie April 9, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

    New party game for kids!

  15. Donna April 9, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    The issue isn’t with a kid figuring this out. It is with the fact that it has gone viral and not as a “look what this cool kid figured out” video, but as a “we need to teach our kids this for when they get kidnapped” video.

  16. donald April 9, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

    The brain works sort of like Google. It searches memories. It defines reality by what it finds on the first few pages. The thought of kidnapping often comes up. An escaping a zip tie video can help it to stay that way. Most people think that stuff like this video, Criminal Minds episodes or Nancy Grace is only harmless entertainment. This is because they ‘know’ what’s real and what’s hype. However, the new memories make certain that the mistrust pages maintain a high ranking order on their ‘Google Search’. Their ‘harmless entertainment’ ensures that children in danger pages will always have an excellent SEO.

    Don’t take my word for it. Search Daniel Kahneman. He’s a Nobel Prize winner.

    “A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.”
    ― Daniel Kahneman, Author of Thinking Fast and Slow

  17. Backroads April 9, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    Fun little skill to have on hand for… most likely never.

    I really do think that’s really cool, what she did. I just don’t care at all for how they’re marketing the video.

    Can’t a simple “how to get out of a zip tie because why not?” be enough?

  18. Papilio April 9, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

    OK criminals, back to tying their hands above their head with a phone cord 😛

  19. donald April 9, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

    Here are a few more quotes by Nobel Pize winning Daniel Kahneman. He didn’t compare the brain, memory recal, and interpretation of reality to that of a Google search. That’s just my spin on it. It may be BS

    “This is the essence of intuitive heuristics: when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.”

    “Intelligence is not only the ability to reason; it is also the ability to find relevant material in memory and to deploy attention when needed.”

    “People tend to assess the relative importance of
    issues by the ease with which they are retrieved from memory—and this is
    largely determined by the extent of coverage in the media. Frequently
    mentioned topics populate the mind even as others slip away from
    awareness. In turn, what the media choose to report corresponds to their
    view of what is currently on the public’s mind. It is no accident that
    authoritarian regimes exert substantial pressure on independent media.
    Because public interest is most easily aroused by dramatic events and by
    celebrities, media feeding frenzies are common”

  20. donald April 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    I see that a lot of comments on this page that confirms that many believe that this is harmless entertainment. They don’t share my belief that ease of memory recall helps to determine a person’s interpretation of what’s real.

    You have your opinion and that’s ok. If your belief only affected you, then I would leave it at that. However, this is a huge reason why we lock children up like caged chickens. I’m not only concerned for their freedom, I’m concerned about the way we discourage the cognitive growth. Skinned knees are a natural ‘anxiety vaccination’. Well-meaning parents smother their children with protection help to steer them into anxiety. This happens when they achieve adult age but don’t achieve adult mentality.

  21. James April 9, 2017 at 7:13 pm #

    I think that if it’s presented as a fun trick, it can be a good thing. My family did something similar, only with rope, purely as a “Hey, this is a cool trick!” thing. It was like learning how to break different holds, or picking combination locks, or how to tie knots, or the like–we never treated it as anything other than a fun game to kill an afternoon.

    Come to think of it, I remember an old (and I mean, 50 years old at least) Denis the Menace comic book where they did something similar at a party. Other such fun things that comic book included were breaking a ruler with a newspaper (put the newspaper flat on a table, put the ruler under it about halfway, then smack the ruler as hard as you can), a few coin tricks, how to make shadow puppets, and the like. Denis and I think a lot alike: Our first instinct was “I have a sharp bit of steel in my pocket, and will simply cut my way out of this.” 😀 My point is, this sort of trick has been being demonstrated for ages.

    “They don’t share my belief that ease of memory recall helps to determine a person’s interpretation of what’s real.”

    The thing is, in isolation this IS harmless fun. It’s a cool trick. It’s only when it occurs in the context of a society that’s paranoid enough to think it’s a practical tool that it becomes problematic. But the solution isn’t to demonize fun party tricks–it’s to attack the paranoia in our culture, which this website generally does a good job of doing.

  22. James April 9, 2017 at 7:16 pm #

    “Conduct a Gen X poll and find out how many of us thought quicksand was every freaking where as 60s – early 80s kids.”

    We were disabused of that fear pretty early on. There WAS quicksand in our town–they built the railroad over it, and once every five years had to repair that section of track. My dad, a civil engineer, would complain about it every time it happened. But it was cheaper to repair it than to build around, I guess. Regardless, after watching trains go across quicksand literally hundreds of times, a kid gets the impression that the movies exaggerated a tad!

  23. James Pollock April 9, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

    “You have your opinion and that’s ok. If your belief only affected you, then I would leave it at that. However, this is a huge reason why we lock children up like caged chickens. I’m not only concerned for their freedom, I’m concerned about the way we discourage the cognitive growth.”

    Who, exactly, is the “we” you keep referring to?

    Try looking at it this way:
    The risk that a child will be kidnapped and zip-tied is very, very low. But it’s not zero. The risk that a child’s home will be on fire with them in it is very low, but it’s not zero. The risk that the child’s care-giver will suffer a medical emergency and need the child to seek help is very small, but it isn’t zero. The risk that a child will become separated from parents or caregivers in a public place are, well, those odds are fairly high, actually. What all these things have in common is that it’s better if the child can remain calm, formulate plan, and carry it out. In fact, it’s also true for adults faced with an unexpected situation… you’ll be better off if you can keep calm, formulate a plan, and carry it out.

    The ability to stay calm and focused and solve a problem without an obvious solution is one that must be developed. You can build your children’s skills in this area. Start by taking any rational or irrational fear… doesn’t have to the Ikea sex-traffickers… and ending by “now, what are you going to do about it?” OK, the house is on fire and you can’t get to the front door. Now, what are you going to do? You’re at Grandma’s house. She said you were going to go to the park, so you got ready, but now you see her lying on the kitchen floor and she isn’t waking up. Now, what are you going to do? You’re at a department store in the mall. Mom dropped you off in front of the videogame display so you could watch some older boys playing videogames. A store employee just came and said you all have to leave. Now, what do you do? Notice that asking “now, what do you do?” reinforces the idea that there is ALWAYS something to be done. It promotes kind of thinking we (note my use of this word) want our children to develop.

  24. Walter Underwood April 9, 2017 at 7:35 pm #

    Massive BS. Handcuff zip ties are way thicker. But learning how to tie shoelaces might be a sufficient real benefit from this crap.

  25. Sandra Smith April 9, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

    Zip-ties are commonly used by police to restrain juveniles. “Escaping” might well lead to a tasing, or worse. What we all need to do is teach our kids how to talk to police calmly, avoiding anything that might be interpreted as inappropriate body language. Cops really don’t like defiance.

  26. donald April 9, 2017 at 10:16 pm #

    It didn’t occur to me that this is a video about how to remain calm. It’s made to get as many hits as possible. How to remain calm videos usually don’t go viral. I agree that remaining calm is vital. Keeping a cool head in an emergency is the best way out of an emergency. The positives (how to remain calm) of this video is minuscule compared to the scare tactic. I just don’t agree that how to keep calm in an emergency this is the main message of the video. I think it’s more about fantasizing about bad stuff that could happen.

    Furthermore, I agree with Walter Underwood that it’s massive BS. Cable ties are strong. Even the small ones are. I’m certain it this was already pre-cut 3/4 of the way through.

    “The risk that a child will be kidnapped and zip-tied is very, very low. But it’s not zero.” You’re right!

    According to Anxiety and Depression Assosiation of America, this dissorder affects 40 million people in America. I think the chances of it occuring are a little higher than a kidnapping. Shit like this video is one of the reasons of why it’s so high.

  27. James Pollock April 9, 2017 at 11:52 pm #

    “The positives (how to remain calm) of this video is minuscule compared to the scare tactic”

    Now, what are you going to do about it?

    “According to Anxiety and Depression Assosiation of America, this dissorder affects 40 million people in America. I think the chances of it occuring are a little higher than a kidnapping. Shit like this video is one of the reasons of why it’s so high.”

    If watching videos makes you depressed, maybe you should think about reducing your screen time. Go outside and play, instead.

  28. SKL April 9, 2017 at 11:52 pm #

    OK first of all, she just tied her feet and her hands together so she couldn’t take an opportunity to walk or run away.

    Secondly, in all likelihood the shoelaces would break before the zip tie. Or she’d stay with all her limbs tied up for who knows how long ….

  29. SKL April 9, 2017 at 11:54 pm #

    I’d be screwed due to my fat feet / short shoelaces. 😛

  30. JTW April 10, 2017 at 7:38 am #

    hmm, that’s why you should always use 2 zip ties, crossed, preventing the hands from being slipped between them 🙂

    And maybe use superglue to prevent them from being opened…

  31. dancing on thin ice April 10, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    Besides being promoted using FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt), this shows that kids and adults with dementia can figure out how to open “child-proof” or other locked items.

    I call my dad Houdini because it took him 2 minutes to figure out the door and refrigerator locks we installed. Fortunately, he hasn’t tried the stove.

  32. Eric S April 10, 2017 at 4:21 pm #

    Ok. This is a nice little hack. But peel away the layers.

    1. It teaches children that they can be kidnapped at any given time. They are not safe ANYWHERE. If you tell them otherwise, you just mess with their heads. Are they safe, or aren’t they safe. “I’m so confused!” (think Barbarino from Welcome Back Cotter). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll9-jEtEiiI To the older generation…you’re welcome. 😉

    2. If they were going to be kidnapped, I’m pretty sure the kidnapper would do it on the fly. They’d have planned it out. And if they were smart, they’d used industrial zip ties and not garbage back zip ties. You can’t cut through industrial zip ties with your shoe laces.

    3. What if they’re hands are tied behind their back?

    4. It gives kids a false sense of security. Like those bogus self-defense classes that teach you how to disarm and knife wielding assailant in 5 easy steps, in one class. lol

    No. The best way to teach kids, is to teach them practical skills on the street. Awareness, being mindful of surroundings. Confidence, so that they can interact with people (strangers too), so they can understand the difference between good and bad in people. And to spot the liars. And self defense. Practical self defense. My suggestion, BJJ and Judo. Easy to learn, effective against bigger assailants. You never have to “over power”. Don’t need a lot of strength. Just smarts and patience. Which is always a good thing for kids to have.

  33. James April 10, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

    This sort of discussion gets into the creepy “What would I do if I were going to _____” territory. Yeah, we can speculate about how a kidnapper would restrain a person, or what we’d do in the situation. But it’s speculation.

    I’ll agree with Eric S that the best thing to do is to teach kids practical knowledge. Teach them situational awareness, how to talk to strangers, how to navigate in various areas (cities, small towns, country, woods, desert–areas that you’re likely to be in), etc. Not because this has anything to do with kidnapping, but because these are useful skills by themselves. Situational awareness lets you understand your environment and how to navigate it. Talking to strangers is a must–everyone but your parents start out as strangers, after all. How to navigate in various areas is useful because you’ll eventually be told “Meet me here” and have to be there by a certain time. (Okay, woods and deserts may not be important to others, but with my lifestyle there’s a real chance my kids will end up in both.)

    Self-defense classes? For exercise and entertainment and companionship, sure! Some of my best friends I’ve met doing European martial arts. For beating up bad guys? Not so much. These classes will give you the confidence to not look like an easy mark, and that’s the key. When it comes to actually fighting….well, any good self-defense class will tell you to never let it get that far. Fighting is dangerous in the extreme; someone WILL get hurt, someone probably will die. And in real-world terrain, random chance plays a huge role in the outcome. Plus, any decent thug will have their own martial arts experiences, often FAR more practical than your judo experiences (the thugs without such experience either gain it quick or die). Unless you’re specifically training for combat it’s best to not treat them as classes in how to fight.

    That said, again, they’re a great deterrent. When my wife’s car broke down she took out a (dull) rapier and started practicing. She was in a pretty bad part of LA, but the only person to stop near her was a cop–who stated “I wish more women were like you.” NO ONE messes with a woman carrying a 42 inch blade who is currently demonstrating the ability to hit the wing of a fly in fight!

  34. James Pollock April 10, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    “1. It teaches children that they can be kidnapped at any given time. They are not safe ANYWHERE. If you tell them otherwise, you just mess with their heads.”
    No. You teach them that unexpected things can happen, well, unexpectedly.
    For example, suppose your kid has a court-ordered parenting plan that calls for them to be sent to their other parent periodically, even though that parent lives several time zones away. Now, stretching probability even further, suppose that they land at an airport a state-and-a-half away from where that other parents lives, only to discover that, oops, other parent is not there to collect them because bad weather has closed all the highways. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say that the airport they are in is in Charlotte, and the child has no parents within the state of North Carolina at all. Now, will your child be able to formulate a plan, locate a safe place to wait, then get to that place with sufficient resources (i.e., food, water, and indoor plumbing) to stay there? This situation is probably even less likely than is a kidnapping, but if you’ve guessed it’s a real story, you are correct. My daughter didn’t even tell me about it until after she came home at the end of the trip, because she didn’t need my help. In a crowded airport (where countless flights were being cancelled because of the bad weather), she figured out a safe place to wait… the military welcome center in the airport… and waited for her mother to get there.

    ” You can’t cut through industrial zip ties with your shoe laces.”
    No. You heat the zip tie with friction from the shoelace, creating a soft spot, and then apply twisting force to break it.

    “It gives kids a false sense of security”
    How is this a problem, unless it causes them to seek out opportunities to test it? I mean, carrying a firearm creates a false sense of security because people who are armed tend to approach situations that unarmed people would shy away from. What’s the danger of having kids think that, given enough time alone, they can escape a kidnapper?

    “The best way to teach kids, is to teach them practical skills on the street.”
    The ability to keep calm, formulate a plan, and improvise are the most practical skills there are.

  35. Scott April 11, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

    I’m not sure it’s true that kids will never be exposed to this since it’s a technique used in constraining mass detainees by US law enforcement these days, such as when people are out democratically protesting something that the powers that be deem inappropriate.

  36. Scott April 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

    My comment might be seen as snide but my kids saw peaceful friends of theirs attacked by dogs, placed in kennels, attacked with grenades, and subjected to mass detainments. My comment is serious about stuff that really is going on right now, but hey maybe it’s true that white folks will never have to deal with any of this, so yeah.

  37. Mark April 11, 2017 at 9:26 pm #

    “Except…kids don’t need to KNOW how to escape from a zip tie.”

    Spoken like someone who never had an older brother.

  38. Bartimaeus April 15, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

    This wouldn’t work against cops. They use zip ties made of metal.