Keep children safe from strangers!
- The only way children will know how to be safe is if you take the responsibility for teaching them.
- Cover the safety bases with your children and make sure they know that they can come to you to discuss any problem or fear.
- Children should know safe and well-traveled routes to schools, parks and friends' homes.
- Each child should memorize his or her full name, address, phone number (with area code) and parents' names.
- Teach your child how to contact help in the event that he or she is being hassled or followed by a stranger, and make sure they know to never accept rides from strangers.
- Set aside a time to talk to your children about dangerous people. Gear the talk to your children’s own level of understanding and keep everything you say simple. Be straightforward, yet caring. Never use scare tactics during your talk. Explain without frightening the sensitive child.
- Know where your children are at all times. Be sensitive to the situations where children could find themselves in danger, such as being left alone in a car or toy department.
- Know the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of your children’s friends and be involved in their activities. Notice if your children do not want to be with someone and ask why.
- Explain that a dangerous person is someone you do not know. Tell children to ask themselves these questions: Have I ever seen this person before? Do I know this person’s name?
- Emphasize that dangerous people may only pretend to be nice. They try to trick children so they can possibly do bad things to them.
- Dangerous people can be big or small, old or young. They can be men or women, boys or girls.
- Pay close attention if someone pays unusual attention to your children.
- Explain the many situations children may find themselves in where a dangerous person may approach them and the proper action to take.
- Teach your child the “safe” places to go near your home in case you are not near.
- Talk about the many lures used by these people to get children to go away with them, such as offering candy, money, presents, and pets.
- Never put your children’s names (first or last) on the outside of clothes, etc. Children are more likely to respond to someone who knows their name.
- Caution your children to never enter a car or home of someone other than a trusted adult whom you have discussed.
- Explain why they should only play with friends in supervised areas, never in vacant buildings, vacant lots or alleyways.
- Emphasize that it is OKAY to run away and attract attention by screaming in scary situations. Explain that traditional manners can be ignored at these times. Practice with your children yelling for help.
- Remind your children to always report any unusual people or situations they encounter to you, a trusted adult, or a law enforcement officer right away.
REMEMBER: Most importantly, let your children know that you are willing to talk about and listen to anything they may want to report. Never underestimate any fears or concerns your children tell you about.