Stranger Awareness

Children should be taught specifically how to handle situations they may encounter, whether it be at home, at school, while walking down the street, and even on the telephone and the internet.  Parents must explain to their children the importance of being careful with people they do not know and/or trust.

Children's Home Rules

  • Always keep doors locked
  • Being careful with keys to the house.  Tell children not to wear their key so that someone can see it.  If you have a  hiding place established for a key, make sure it is in a very discreet place.
  • Tell children not to enter the house if anything that seems different than usual if they arrive home alone.  For example, if the door is unlocked or a window is open when it shouldn't be, they should not go inside, but go to a familiar neighbour's house for help.
  • No one should be allowed in the house when the parents aren't home under any circumstances.  This should also be true if there is a babysitter with the children.
  • Instruct your children to call the police if any stranger doesn't leave after knocking, or if they see a stranger on their property
  • All emergency phone numbers should be kept in plain view near the telephone.

Children's Telephone Rules

  • When answering the phone, children should never give their name.  Just say "Hello".  Should a caller ask for their name, ask them to ask the caller whom they wish to speak to.
  • No matter what, never give their address over the phone, unless they are calling 911 in an emergency
  • If a stranger calls and asks "What number is this?" or "I think I have the wrong number, what number have I reached?" don't' tell them.  Ask instead what number they are trying to reach.
  • If parents are not home, never tell this to a caller.  Instead, say they are busy and can't come to the phone right now but you can take a message.
  • Do not answer any questions a stranger asks on the phone
  • If someone asks you to buy something over the phone, always say "No"
  • If you answer the phone and someone says something mean or dirty, or they bother you in any way, hang up immediately

Children's Road Rules

  • NEVER go close to a car with a stranger in it, because they could pull you into the car
  • NEVER take candy, money or toys if a stranger in a car offers it, because they may try to get you into the car if you get too close.
  • If a car stops and someone asks you questions or for directions, NEVER walk up to the car, stay a safe distance away
  • If a car starts to follow you, turn and run in the other direction
  • If a stranger starts to follow you in a car, make a loud noise to attract attention.  Also run to a safe place, such as your own home if it is nearby, or to a store where you can tell someone that you are being followed by a stranger.

Parents should tell their children that a stranger is a stranger, no matter how many times that children may have seen him/her until you tell them differently.

Often, children may see the same person more than once at a playground or other familiar place, and feel it's all right to trust them.