Now is good time to sit down with your child for a refresher course on stranger safety. If your child is approached by a stranger, they will have a better chance of avoiding a significantly dangerous situation.
The following are tips to help keep your children safe:
11 and under: Always walk to and from the bus stop with your child. They do not weight that much and could be scooped up in a moment. Strangers will likely not approach if child is accompanied with an adult.
12 and older: Always walk with a buddy to and from school. Never walk alone.
Talk to your children about approaching strangers. Predators are crafty so it is important that your children be aware of a potential trap. Here are some ways to be safe:
1. Never ever approach a stranger, under any circumstance, even if they know your child’s name;
2. If someone appears to be hurt and asks for help, run away and offer to get help from an adult;
3. Never allow children to walk alone or by themselves;
4. If someone approaches and says your parents have been hurt and you need to come with them, they should have a special password that only you and your children know.
5. Always have designated persons, the names and identities of which, known by your children, who would pick them up in any emergency.
6. Always know where your children are. Cell phone’s can be a great tool for keeping in contact with older children before and after school.
7. If your child is approached by a stranger, this should be the first sensory trigger for danger as the first few seconds are the most critical. Have them run away to a lighted area or a place where other people can help or see what is going on.
8. If they are actually grabbed, the experts say to teach children big and small to not go quietly and to make as much noise as possible and fight for their lives. Older kids, immediately drop to the ground, kicking and screaming, if you don’t get an opportunity to run away and make the predator drag you away. It is hard to drag 70 lbs or more of dead weight and they will be less likely to fight with you, in order to get you into their car or a secluded area.
9. Report all suspicious activity to your law enforcement.