Usually when kids hear the word “stranger,” they automatically think of someone creepy or scary. However, this is usually not the case. Strangers can look like normal people and it’s important that we get this message across to our kids. You can better protect your children from dangerous situations simply by teaching them about who strangers really are, and how to react to people who act suspiciously.
Here are some questions to consider before you start the ‘stranger danger’ conversation:
Who is a stranger?
To put it simply, tell your child that a stranger is anyone that your family doesn’t know well. Make sure your child knows that even people who seem nice or look pretty are still strangers. Remind them that even if they don’t look mean or ugly, strangers can still be dangerous.
What is a dangerous situation?
Help your child recognize the warning signs of suspicious behavior or “stranger danger.” For instance, a grown-up asking a child for help or asking them to keep a secret are both tell-tale signs of stranger danger. More obvious signs include an adult that they don’t know asking them to disobey their parents or do something without their parents’ permission.
How should your child react to a dangerous situation?
Experts recommend showing your children how to say “No,” yell “Help” as loud as they can, and run away as fast as they can if a stranger does something that makes them feel uncomfortable. Teach them to go to a trusted adult right away and tell them what happened.
Who are safe strangers?
Safe strangers are trusted adults who are often easily recognizable, like a police officer or a firefighter. Other safe strangers include teachers, principals, and librarians. Emphasize that they should go to these people for help if they ever find themselves in a “stranger danger” situation.
Things you can do to help:
Know where your child is at all times, and make it a rule that they ask for your permission before they go anywhere. Identify safe places in your community where your children can go if they run into trouble. Teach your child to be assertive and reassure them that it’s okay to say no to an adult and run away in dangerous situations.
You also want to ensure that your child is safe while at school. At Prep Academy Schools, the safety of our students is a top priority. We have partnered with Secure Education Consultants (SEC), a team of highly trained former US Secret Service agents, to examine our facilities and design and train our staff on an emergency and critical incident response plan. In addition, our campus features secure monitored entry with biometric technology and PIN for each parent and member of staff to ensure your child’s safety. We also perform instant checks on each visitor, via driver’s license and provide a name badge good only for the duration of their visit at Prep Academy Schools.
By educating our children about dangerous situations and strangers, parents and schools can work together to ensure their safety from stranger danger.