If you spend time with children, you know that every little kid needs to learn stranger safety facts. Children are trusting and innocent; they believe that everybody loves them as much as Mom and Dad do. Sadly, this is not the case, and while parents want their children to grow up inherently trust other people, they must also teach them to be cautious.
Some Stranger Safety Facts
There are certain essential facts every parent should teach his child so that the child is prepared to cope with dangerous situations. Children need to learn how to take care of themselves and be responsible in light of the potential dangers that exist for them. Learning some basic facts about how to stay safe is often the best way to fight against stranger danger.
It is not enough to tell your children simply not to talk to strangers. With families spread out far and wide, some relatives may be less familiar to your child than some of the people that show up in a child's daily life, such as people at your favorite stores or restaurants, and other people that you see regularly but do not know well. Teach your child that he should consult you before making any contact with these familiar people, and they should never go anywhere with these people unless you approve it. While it can be difficult to teach a child stranger safety facts about people that they feel they know, it is essential.
Setup "safe" adults for your children as you teach them to avoid talking to strangers. Knowing who they should always trust will help children make wise, safe choices when confronted with strangers or even people they are familiar with. Safe adults can include Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, a babysitter, or a trusted, long-term friend of the family. These are the people your children know will always be a safe contact when they have questions or need help.
There are other people in your kid's life, like teachers, bus drivers, neighbors, sports coaches, or music teachers. These are adults that you have given permission to enter your child's life, but these are not your child's go-to adults. Teach your children that they should consult their "safe" adults if they have questions about or issues with these people. Though these people are friendly and familiar, they are not your child's go-to adults. If, for example, one of these familiar people offers your child a ride, instruct your child that he must check with you, a safe adult, before accepting such a ride.
It is helpful to establish a code word to use if, in the event of an emergency, someone else needs to pick up your child or babysit while you are unable to be there. Your child should memorize the code word and not share it with anyone; most kids will listen because kids love having a secret. If someone approaches your child, assure your child that, unless the stranger or even the familiar person uses the secret code word, your child should not go with them. Teach your child to run away from such a danger.
Prepare your child for the possibility that she may get lost in a store. Teach her to find someone with a nametag for help, and never to leave the store or building. Assure her that if she does get lost that you are searching, too. Your child can find someone at the store by looking for the employee nametags worn by the store's staff, since the staff members are trained to help reconnect kids and their lost parents.
Another helpful tool is to teach your child to stay where he can see you. If he can see you, you can see him, and it keeps him involved in the moment. If he has to be aware of where you are, he is also somewhat more aware of events going on around him.
Saying No To Bribes
Teach your child not to take any food, candy, toys, or other gifts from anyone other than you and their other safe adults. While children do not understand the lure of the bribe, you know that people who offer things to children may be doing so for terrible reasons. Tell your child to reject offers even if the person with the "gift" says that Mom and Dad approve. Your child's resolve may save his or her life.
Teaching Safety Facts
Teaching your child some simple stranger safety facts gives you peace of mind, and it helps your child know what to do in a pressure situation. With a few reminders and even a secret code, your child can live and play safely.