A stranger is anyone that your family doesn't know well. While some strangers are nice people, others may not be. As a parent, you can protect your child from dangerous strangers by helping them to recognize suspicious behavior and what to do in the event he is approached by someone unfamiliar. Below are some tips that you can use to keep your child safe.
While there are both good and bad strangers, you should teach your child to be careful around all strangers. Explain to your child that you cannot tell if strangers are good or bad just by looking at them (e.g., a scary villain, like in the cartoons). Help your child recognize the warning signs of suspicious and potentially dangerous behavior, such as someone asking you to disobey your parents or asking you to keep a secret. It is also important that you teach your child to never accept gifts, food or rides from people they do not know.
Teach your child that if he is approached by a suspicious individual, he should yell loudly, run away, and find a safe place with a trusted adult. Some safe strangers that your child can generally go to if she needs help include: police officers, fire fighters, teachers, librarians and mothers (e.g., women with children in tow). You should emphasize to your child that she needs to always ask for help in a public place.
Other things that you can do to keep your child safe from strangers include: