SPD reminds families to have 'Stranger Danger' talk as school year starts
Begin With the Basics
- Children should know their full name, address including city and state, and phone number including area code.
- Be sure children know how to call 911 and how to use a pay phone.
- Teach children to never accept rides or gifts from someone they don't know.
- Teach children to go to a store clerk, security guard, or police officer for help if they are lost in a mall or store or on the street.
- Children should be accompanied to public rest rooms.
- Teach children that no one, not even someone they know, has the right to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. Tell them they have the right to say "no" in this situation.
- Show children safe places they can go in your neighborhood in an emergency, like a trusted neighbor's house.
- Inspect your neighborhood for areas that threaten children's safety, like brush in wooded areas, overgrown shrubbery, poor lighting, etc.
Tips For School
- Encourage children to walk and play with friends, not alone. Tell them to avoid places that could be dangerous such as vacant buildings, alleys, new construction, wooded areas, etc.
- Make sure children take the safest routes to and from school, stores, and friend's houses.
- Teach children to walk confidently and to be alert to their surroundings.
- Tell children to avoid strangers who may hang around playgrounds, public rest rooms, empty buildings, etc.
- Teach children to always take the same way home from school.
- Children should not walk next to curbs.
- Children should not wear expensive jewelry or clothing to school.
- A child should check in with a parent or trusted neighbor as soon as he arrives home from school. Someone should know if he is staying late at school.
- Parents should listen carefully to children's fears and feelings about people or places that scare them or make them uneasy. Tell them to trust their instincts. Take complaints about bullies seriously.
- Children should be taught to settle arguments with words, not fists or weapons.
- Children should be taught never to take guns, knives, or other weapons to school. They should tell a school official immediately if they see another student with a weapon.