This post is part of the Child Safety and Travel series.
When you travel there are going to be strangers around you and your children constantly. The important thing is to work with your children ahead of time, incorporating safety principles into your every day life. Whether you travel or not, these are important things you should be teaching your children about strangers.
Make sure your child knows that a stranger is anyone they don’t know very well. Not all strangers look intimidating or frightening like the mean characters in stories or movies. We even teach our children that anyone you don’t know that knows your name is a stranger. This is important in the information wide world we live in. Someone could look up your kids names on Facebook or notice they have a name on their bracelet. People that try to manipulate children will often use their name as a way to start a conversation with your child and may even use your name as a way to make your child feel safe with them. “Hi little Johnny, your mommy Susan said I should take you home from school today.” In this situation our kids know to run, run, run!
There are also good strangers. I cover information on how to introduce your child to figures of authority in this article. And make sure that your child knows to seek help in public places, where there are many other people that will hear them if they scream for help.
One of the most valuable things a parent can do for their child is coach them on how to handle dangerous situations. The National Crime Prevention Council advocates, “No, Go, Yell, Tell.” Because it is easy to remember. Your children should say no, run as fast as they can, be as loud as they can, and find a helpful adult. Read more