Role-play with your child. Give them “What Would You Do If… ? ” scenarios for home, school and if someone approached them. Guide them through what they should do.

The term “stranger danger” is a difficult concept for a child to grasp.

A “stranger” is not just someone they do not know, but it is also someone they may know just not very well. For instance, someone who lives or works in your neighborhood they may have seen.

Since the concept of “stranger danger” can be confusing to them it is easier to focus on situations they may encounter and how to stay safe rather than on a particular type person to watch out for.

Take a minute to go over these safety tips with your children.

  • When walking home from school, try to walk with a friend as there is usually safety in numbers.
  • Stay away from someone who asks you for assistance. They should never be asking you for help such as with directions or to help look for a lost puppy or kitten. That is something they would ask an adult with help for.
  • Never take anything from anyone such as candy, ice cream or money unless a parent is right there and says it is okay.
  • Never accept a ride from anyone without a parent’s okay.
  • Never give your name and/or address to anyone, unless you are lost and it is to a police officer or deputy who is trying to help you.
  • If a person in a car asks you for help, tries to get you closer to their car, or they are following you, turn and run in the opposite direction.
  • If someone tries to follow you on foot or tries to grab you, RUN AWAY, SCREAM, and get somewhere safe.
  • Go somewhere safe: your house, back to school, a fire station, a store or the home of a trusted family friend.
  • Once you are in a safe place, call your local law enforcement agency immediately. (You would contact the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office by calling 9-1-1.)
  • If you have a cell phone with you, you can also call 9-1-1 from your cell phone. You will be connected to the California Highway Patrol. Tell them what has happened. They will send a deputy or police officer to help you.