Return to the Crime Prevention Tips Page
Friendly strangers can be dangerous strangers. Strangers who offer treats to children may be offering threats instead. Teach your children what a stranger is and how to react to anyone they dont know well.
Play it safe
It is normal and natural for children to spend time playing out of the sight of trusted and caring adults. Keep trouble away from kids by teaching them to avoid areas and situations where trouble might lurk. Here are some basic play it safe rules for children.
Teach children how to respond
How children respond to trouble will depend on their age and the circumstances they encounter.
Teach children what to do and where to go when feeling threatened. Children should understand there are many people they can depend on and should turn to when they feel unsafe. Teach them law enforcement officers are friends whose job it is to protect them. NEVER use an officer as a threat, such as if you dont behave Ill have a police officer arrest you. This only teaches a child to fear law enforcement officers.
If an officer cant be located easily, a child should also know to seek out a trusted teacher, a neighbor or a friends parent when frightened or feeling endangered. Children should know how to report trouble right away.
Teach children how to operate the telephone to call for assistance at an early age. They should know how to dial 911" for help. They should also memorize their area code and phone number, a friends phone number and your work number. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers near all the phones in your house.