By Petra Paulson
A Child's Security Center - Stranger Danger and More!
As you grow up, you will want to show your parents that you are responsible and can take care of yourself. In order to do this, it is very important to know how to keep yourself safe whether you are at home or elsewhere. A big part of staying safe is knowing about some of the dangers out there. A main rule to remember is to always stay away from strangers, until your mom or dad say that it's okay to talk to them.
If you are staying home alone, don't answer the door if someone rings the bell. It could be a stranger! Similarly, if someone phones your home, don't answer it so that you don't have to tell them that you are home without your parents. Even out on the streets or in other public areas, a stranger might try to approach you. Although they might be bad, they can trick you by looking friendly. Some strangers might even try to offer you candy or try to start a conversation. If this ever happens, run away and go to a safe place where there are a lot of people. If there is a police station nearby, go there instead.
It is important to remember that not all strangers are bad. In fact, some can be good. A great example of good strangers are police officers or security guards. It is their job to make sure that people are safe. If a stranger tries to talk to you, grab you, or touch you in any way, remember what they look like and repeat the information to the police as soon as possible.
Strangers are not necessarily always people that you've never seen before. Strangers are people who your family does not know well and trust. If you go to a friend's birthday party and meet their uncle, you should still count him as a stranger if he is unknown by your family.
Now that you know about strangers in real life, you should also know that there are also strangers online. Imagine that you log onto a chat room to talk to your friends. There might be a bad stranger there who is pretending to be a kid. Did you know that almost half of all kids and teens chatting online are at some point contacted by total strangers? For this reason, you should only go to websites that your parents approve and never give out any of your private details. Private details are pieces of information that can be linked to you, such as your real name, age, address, email, or phone number. By keeping your information private, you are protecting yourself from harmful strangers.
Want to learn more about staying safe and preventing crime? Check out some of the games, activities, and tip sheets below!