Talk With Your Child About Stranger Danger

It is unfortunate that children are in danger of being abducted by strangers.  Every day there are approximately 2,100 reports of children being missing.  Of course, these or not all stranger abductions.  However, it is important that children learn to be wary of people they don’t know.  Most young children are friendly and talk and smile with people whether they know them or not.  As soon as your child is old enough to understand you need to talk with him about going with other people.

You cannot be with your child every minute of every day.  For this reason you need to arm your child with strategies that will help keep him safe.

Your child needs to understand that he is not to go with anyone unless you, the parent, have said he may go with that person.  Your child should know that is fine to go with his aunts, uncles, grandparents or a trusted family friend if you have approved it.  Your child needs to know that even if he has been introduced to someone it is not okay to go with them unless the parent gives permission.

You need to determine a password to use with your child.  The child needs to know that he should never get into a car or go with anyone who does not know the password.  Nor should the child open a door to anyone who does not know the password.

Children need to be taught that they should never take gifts or candy from a stranger.  They need to know that if a stranger asks them for help (such as helping them look for a lost puppy) the child needs to find an adult they know and tell them about the person asking for help.  Teach the child that if someone tries to make them get into their car they should run if they can and they should scream and make as much noise as possible.  The child should also run and scream if someone tries to get him to do something he does not want to do.

Be sure your child knows the boundaries that have been set for him.  Be sure he knows where he can go and with whom.  It is most important that your child know his home address and telephone number.  Get a child’s ID-like card and update with a new one every six months or a year since the appearance of a child changes rapidly.  It is a good idea to have your child fingerprinted too.  Some local police departments have fingerprint programs for children.  There are also online resources for ID cards and fingerprinting.

When they hear so many cases of child abduction, parents realize that it is hard to keep children safe.  This is way it is important that you talk with your child about stranger danger.  You aren’t trying to make the child feel insecure, you are trying to find that balance that will keep him safe.