Stranger Danger - Sept 2018
Important Advice - Stranger Danger
You may wish to advise pupils to take sensible precautions when walking to and from school. Feel free to distribute safety tips as follows:
Plan ahead. Think about how you are going to get to school and home, e.g. Travel with a friend. Make sure you know what time the bus is.
Avoid danger spots like quiet or badly-lit alleyways, subways or isolated car parks. Walk down the middle of the pavement if the street is deserted.
If you are at all worried, try and stay near a group of people.
Try to use well-lit, busy streets and use the route you know best.
Keep your mind on your surroundings – remember if you are chatting on your mobile phone or wearing a personal stereo, you will not hear trouble approaching.
If you think you are being followed, trust your instincts and take action. As confidently as you can, cross the road, turning to see who is behind you. If you are still being followed, keep moving. Make for a busy area and tell people what is happening.
Whilst the risk posed by strangers is rare, it’s really important to make children aware of simple tips they can follow to keep themselves a little safer.
This video on “Stranger Danger” is designed to highlight a few key points, to be used to help you have that important conversation with your child, pupil or class. It is aimed at aged 4 - 11 years. For parents, carers, families, teachers, schools and centres for young people to use to raise awareness and generate discussion that helps children keep safe.
We would advise you to talk about who your safe adults are and where there are safe places near you if help is needed. The link to the video on YouTube is here…. http://ow.ly/JFrsM
There is a range of info and support here –
Childline - www.childline.org.uk
NSPCC - www.nspcc.org.uk
Pride 123 - www.pride123.co.uk
STREET SMART TIPS
Who Are Strangers?
When you're walking home from school, a person in a car pulls up and asks you for directions. At the park, someone says he needs you to help look for his lost puppy. These people may seem friendly, but no matter what they say to you, they have one thing in common: They're strangers.
Most strangers aren't dangerous and wouldn't do anything to hurt kids. Unfortunately, though, some strangers can be dangerous, and it's impossible to tell who's OK and who's not. A dangerous person doesn't necessarily look scary or mean — the person might look nice.
That's why it's important to follow these safety rules all the time:
Make Your Whereabouts Known
The adult who's taking care of you needs to know where you are at all times. That means telling your mum or dad, grandmother, babysitter, or whoever is keeping an eye on you where you are and when you'll be coming home.
Stick With a Friend
It's more fun and safer to do things with friends. Take along a friend when you walk to school, bike around the park, or go to the shops. Travelling with a friend whenever you can is a good idea, and traveling with a bunch of kids is even better.
Pick Out Safe Spots
What are safe spots? Safe spots are places where you can stop if you need help, like the houses of kids you know, your parents' friends' houses, shops, restaurants, police stations, libraries, and fire stations. When you're walking or riding your bike, make a mental note of the safe spots along your route. That way, you'll know where they are in case you ever need one.
Avoid Places That Aren't Safe
Be sure to keep away from isolated areas. These are places where no one is around, like the woods, alleyways or small, dark streets.
Let Grown-Ups (and Only Grown-Ups) Help Strangers
It's nice to help people. But remember: Strangers should ask adults for help, NOT kids.
If a stranger approaches you and asks you for help — such as with giving directions, finding lost money, or searching for a runaway dog — don't help. Don't even give an answer. Right away, you should walk the other way. If you feel you're in danger, yell for help.
Stay Away From Strangers' Cars
If a stranger pulls up in a car and offers you a ride, don't get in. You probably know that rule, right? But that's not all of it. It's also important to avoid a stranger's car completely. If a stranger asks you to look in the car, don't do it. Don't agree to look in the trunk or in the back of a truck or van. Don't put your arm in the window to take something or point to something. Don't agree to come closer to see a pet or to get a toy that's offered.
If a stranger offers you a toy, some candy, a stuffed animal, or anything else, don't ever take it. Even if it's something you really want, if the offer is coming from a stranger, you should ignore the person and walk the other way.
If a stranger walks up or pulls up in a car and you're too far away to hear the person, don't go closer, even if the person waves you over. Just get away. Run the opposite way that the car is heading. Get to an adult you know, a police officer, a security guard, or one of your safe spots as fast as you can if the stranger comes toward you.
What if a stranger comes to pick you up from school, sports, dancing lessons, or the park? This is no different from any other time — a stranger is a stranger, so don't get in the car. Even if the stranger says that your parents sent him or her, or that there's an emergency and you must get in the car and go to the hospital, turn right around and tell an adult what happened. Your parents would have told you if someone else was coming to pick you up, and if an emergency really did occur, they would send someone you already know, not a stranger.
Even if the stranger knows your name, don't be fooled. There are lots of ways to find out kids' names, even when someone doesn't know them or their families. For example, do you have a jacket or a piece of jewelry that has your name on it? That's an easy way for someone to learn your name.
Make a Lot of Noise If You're Scared
You've probably been told lots of times that you should not yell. You should keep it down, be calm, or use your inside voice. When you think you might be in danger, forget all of that advice! That's the perfect time to be noisy!
If a stranger approaches you (on foot or in a car) and follows you when you try to walk away, yell for help as you run away. If a stranger ever tries to grab you, yell as loudly as you can and try to get away. You can shout things like, "Help! I don't know you!" or "Help! This isn't my dad!" People in the area will hear what's going on and help you, so make plenty of noise.
Trust Your Instincts
Kids need to follow the rules of street smarts all the time with every stranger, even if the situation seems fine. And if your instinct is telling you something is dangerous or just not quite right, get out of the area, tell an adult, or call 999. No one will think that you are silly. In fact, just the opposite — people will think that you're truly street smart!