Stranger Danger Explained

by Barbara J. Feldman on July 10, 2007

What is stranger danger, and how can you help your kids understand and use it? Stranger danger is the phrase used to describe the perceived danger that a child faces due to strangers.

The phrase ‘stranger danger’ is used to group together various threats and concerns that are brought about by strangers that kidnap and/or assault children.
In order to help your child understand how to protect themselves against strangers, it is important to teach them what a stranger is. A stranger is not just the guy you see on the street. This is where it all gets confusing. A stranger is anyone that the child’s mommy and daddy do not know well. This is where getting the knowledge of who to consider a stranger takes a little work.

This can be done in several ways; here are some examples:

1. Show your child pictures of who is a stranger, and who is not a stranger. Grandma is not a stranger. The baker at the store is a stranger.
2. Use coloring sheets or an activity sheet so show your child who a stranger is. Here is a good example of this type of sheet. Crime Prevention Coloring Book
3. You can also use DVDs, and online games to show your children the difference between a stranger and someone who is not a stranger. My Precious Kid

It is important to set boundaries for your child. This will help them to know what is safe and what is not. This means to use these and other safety techniques to fully use ‘stranger danger’.

• Create a code word. This is for people to come to the house if the parents are not home. This could also be used for other people to pick up the child from school or daycare.
• Teach your child to use the telephone, and to know how to call you and the police: 911 in most areas, in case they get lost or are kidnapped.
• Teach your child to never walk up to a car, even if there is candy or a cute puppy.
• Be consistent with what is allowed as far as distance when leaving the home, answering the telephone, and the Internet.
• Teach your child about their physical boundaries. This is easily done with a doll. Tell your child what are their private areas, and that no one should touch them there.
• Teach them that no matter what, they should tell you if someone touches them.
• Be sure to tell your children not to play in places that are deserted, dark, or abandoned.
• Teach them to play with other children.
• They should be reminded to never wander off alone.

If your child knows what to do, they will be more likely to react in a way that can save their life in case a stranger tries to take them or harm them. With this in mind, it is important to teach your child how to react in the case of stranger danger.

1. Start with the basics. If a stranger approaches them, teach them to run away. They should not talk to the stranger at all.

2. If the stranger tries to take their hand, they need to run away. There is no reason to talk to a stranger.

3. If the stranger grabs them, they need to scream, kick, bite, and run as soon as they can. This is a dangerous situation and they need to know what to do.

Therefore it is important to roleplay these scenarios with your child. It will be second nature for them to run when approached by a stranger. Practice and remind them; that way they will be ready if the situation were to ever occur. These are effective tools for combatting stranger danger. By following these tips, you should be able to help your child understand and react in the instance of danger.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Stranger Danger Explained." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 10 Jul. 2007. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1071/stranger-danger-explained/ >.