We see strangers every day in stores, in the park, and throughout the community. Most strangers are nice, friendly people, but it’s important for children to be aware that a few may not be. Parents can protect their children from dangerous strangers by teaching them about strangers and suspicious behavior, and by taking a few precautions of their own. Below are some tips for parents to discuss with their children.
Who is a stranger?
A stranger is anyone that your family doesn’t know well. It is common for children to think that ‘bad strangers’ are older scary-looking adults. This is a false sense of security for children, ‘pretty strangers’ of any age can be just as dangerous. Children need to learn that they should be careful around all strangers.
Who are safe strangers?
Safe strangers are people children can ask for help when they need it. Police officers and firefighters are good examples of recognizable safe strangers. It’s important to emphasize to children that whenever possible, they should go to a public place to ask for help.
- Don’t talk to strangers
- Never accept a ride or gifts from strangers, or even someone you may know, without checking with your parents first. Keep a safe distance from strangers and cars that approach you.If you are approached by a stranger, seek help immediately
- Trust your instincts, if you feel you are being followed or something is not right, seek help immediately
- Use the buddy system, avoid walking anywhere alone. There is safety when in numbers!
- When seeking help, always go to a trusted adult – teacher, coach, police officer, other parent, or older siblings
- If a stranger grabs you, do everything you can to stop him or her from pulling you away. Drop to the ground, kick, hit, bite, and scream. Do whatever it takes to attract the attention of others who can help you. If someone is dragging you away, scream, “this is not my dad,” or “this is not my mom”
- Report any suspicious activity to your local school and police department
- Know your parent’s work and cell phone numbers so you can reach them at all times. Know how and when to use 911
- Be familiar with safe places. Know what areas are safe to play in, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if there is trouble
- Be assertive. Don’t be afraid to say NO to adults who ask you to do something for them, like find a lost pet, join them in an activity or give them directions
- Never share personal information or photos with anyone over the internet
We all have a part to play in keeping children safe, if you see any suspicious activity it’s important to report this to your local police as soon as possible. ...