Stranger Danger: Smart Strategies to Help Keep Your Child Safe - MetroFamily Magazine
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Stranger Danger: Smart Strategies to Help Keep Your Child Safe

by Christa Melnyk Hines

Reading Time: < 1 minute 

Your child may sometime need to seek help from a stranger. Arm your child with a plan to help keep her safe.

  1. Define “stranger.” Remind your kids that even nice strangers are still people you don’t know. If someone won’t leave your child alone, he should yell “Stranger!” and run to tell a trusted adult.
  2. Practice “what-if” scenarios. Choose an easy-to-find meeting spot, like a store’s cash registers, in case you become separated while shopping.
  3. Are there safe strangers? Dangerous strangers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, genders and colors. Err on the side of caution. Instruct your child to only approach a uniformed employee with a name tag in a busy area.
  4. Share limited information. If your child needs help, his first name and your first and last name should suffice.
  5. Take pictures. Snap your children’s pictures with your cell phone while out. If necessary, you can hand a current picture immediately to authorities.
  6. Avoid name tags. Don’t put your child’s name in an obvious location on your child’s backpack or jacket. Predators can use his name to strike up a conversation.
  7. Designate “in case of emergency” friends. Share the names of your family’s emergency contacts or safe people with your kids.
  8. Tell them who they may NOT go with. Have an untrustworthy family member? Instruct your children to stay put until one of their “safe people” arrives.
  9. Have a secret family password. Tell your kids that you will never send someone to get them without them knowing first. In an emergency, the person you’ve put in charge will know the family password.
  10. Keep DNA samples. Store and label hair samples, an old toothbrush and baby teeth to provide authorities in the event your child goes missing.

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