Every now and then we’ll get approached by a stranger and in more cases than not it’s probably nothing serious, but what do you do when you get a feeling that something is not quite right?
In the United States, the U.S. Department of Justice reports that 797,500 children younger than 18 were reported missing in a one-year period of time studied, which resulted in an average of 2,185 children being reported missing every day; 203,900 children were the victims of family abductions; 58,200 children were the victims of nonfamily abductions; and 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping.
However, while it is important to educate your children on the importance of stranger danger, the understanding of those two words to young children can often be quite confusing. After all, what does a dangerous stranger look like? For a child when they hear the words stranger danger they will evoke images of scary looking individuals, but strangers who want to kidnap a child will know that a child is more trusting when a person appears friendly and is persuasive enough.
Of course, there will come a time when you need to give your child more freedom as they grow older, which may see them walking to and from school by themselves. Until they can carry a self defense weapon teaching your child on the basics of being aware of strangers can help immensely though. For instance, let them know that they have the power to say no whenever they want. Even if the person has lost their dog and needs your childs help finding it, say to them that saying no is important as this could be a ruse to get them into a car.
Here are some more handy tips to consider:
Never accept sweets from a stranger.
Never go somewhere without telling an adult where you are going and how long you’ll be.
Never go up to a car to give directions – always maintain a safe distance so the individual inside the car can’t grab you.
Never play in quite places alone.
Always stay with a group of friends – safety in numbers.