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Stranger Danger

By John M. Carpino

Teach your children not to talk with strangers.

Don't approach a motor vehicle for someone asking directions.
SafetyCops say adults don't need directions from KIDS!

Set up a code word with your children in the event of an emergency. A friend may have to pick up your child/children somewhere other than school and you need a plan. Your child should know the code word and understand the importance. Your child should be prepared to respond to anyone who knows the code word. Make the word meaningful to your family so a real Stranger Danger would not be able to figure it out.

If a stranger does approach your child tell them to remember the license plate number of the motor vehicle and to report this information to you immediately.
Don't assume it was nothing and discount what your child has to tell you. Call your local police and report any suspicious activity.

SafetyCops say teach your child how to use the telephone and how to call for the police, 911 if available.
It may help save a life one day-nab a Stranger Danger-catch a Burglar?

Kids need to know that unfortunately Stranger Dangers sometimes purport to be the police and may have with them identification that could fool an adult. If a police officer needs to speak with your child, in the majority of these contacts the police officer will be in a fully marked squad car with the name of your local community displayed and the officer will be in uniform. The police are aware of these types of encounters and will understand the child may not want to speak with the officer for obvious reasons, especially if the officer is in a unmarked squad and is in civilian dress.

If you don't call the police then who will?

Kids don't take candy from a stranger and your kids need to know you never approach a stranger to see his nice puppy dog in the car. Talk with your kids and see if your local school/police are teaching your kids about Stranger Danger. If not, check with your local police and see if they can address the students about Stranger Danger issues.
Try and set up a tour of the police station through the local cub scouts or like group and ask the police officer conducting the tour to speak of Stranger Danger.

With the heavy volume of traffic, numerous roads and expressways that link major cities to small urban and rural communities, these Stranger Dangers can easily avoid detection in just a few minutes by exiting the area on one of these major roadways.
Stranger Dangers travel away from their homes and will pick a new town each day and may even travel a few communities in just one day.

For information about preventing abduction, see  Preventing Abduction in our "Safety Tips K-5" article.

Take a look at our safety tips when out walking about. See our article on Walker Safety.

You are the eyes and ears of your community. The police can't be at all places at all times. Get involved and report suspicious activity and not just to your neighbor, unless she/he happens to be a police officer.

If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding Stranger Danger, contact your local Juvenile Officer.

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