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Teaching Kids About Stranger Danger

Child Abductions Occur Daily Across Nation; Tips for Keeping Kids Safe

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Young children sometimes delight in "running away" from their parent or child care provider, finding humor in the hide and seek game. But adults need to teach kids that running from them while out in public is NEVER okay because it could put them into harm's way. What parent hasn't experienced the overwhelming panic when losing sight--even if it for only a second--of a youngster? Since there are "bad guys" out there would snatch kids, with harmful if not tragic results, adults need to teach children stranger safety rules and then consistently and constantly remind them of them throughout their young years.

Tips for keeping kids safe when out in public:
  • Children need to be taught to remain close to an adult's side and within plain sight. No exceptions. Parents and providers should discuss this plan with children prior to any public excursion along with an understanding of any consequences. Child abductions occur every day and often while an adult caregiver is nearby.


  • Kids need to know not to open the door to their house or car without the "adult in charge's express permission." Even if a child knows a person, they must be taught that the adult directly responsible for them must first say okay.


  • Practice scenarios with kids regularly and help kids to think about possible tricks or tactics to get them to come with someone without the responsible adult's permission. Remember that helping to find a lost puppy and giving out free candy are two of the oldest tricks in the book, and remain popular because unwary kids continue to fall for them.


  • Teach kids to run away and scream from any person they feel threatened by. You would much rather have to explain your child's behavior to someone because they are reacting to possible stranger danger than the alternative.


  • Kids should know that they are NEVER to go anywhere for any reason without the responsible adult's express permission.
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