Stranger Danger Tips:
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are encouraged to have ongoing, age-appropriate discussions with their children about their safety
Remember, you do not want to overwhelm them with fear; rather, you want to equip them with information and techniques that can help them be as safe as possible.
- Reassure your children that the grown-ups around them care about their safety and are doing everything they can to keep them as safe as possible.
- Be sure your child knows his/her full name, address and phone number as well as contact information for his/her parents or guardians.
- Teach your children to only walk the routes to and from school or bus stops that you know. Walk the route with them initially and make them aware of safe locations along the way that they can go to if they need help (examples may be school crossing guards, trusted neighbors and friends, public buildings, or a police officer).
- There is safety in numbers. Whenever possible, children should walk in groups.
- Remind your children to pay attention to their surroundings and not to wear headphones or be distracted by hand-held games or phones.
- Encourage your children to trust their instincts. If they feel they are being followed or something is not right, they should seek help immediately, and then call you (the parent).
- Tell your children that if someone they don’t know approaches them, they should not speak to him/her and should keep walking. They should be aware of luring techniques such as a stranger offering them candy or a video game, asking them for help, claiming to have a lost pet or a supposed emergency involving a family member. Remind children that adults that truly need help should go to other adults (not children) for help.
- If a stranger does approach your child, teach your child to keep going or get away first, and then to try and remember the description of the suspected individual and the vehicle involved, if any. Stress the importance of this so success in locating this individual promptly is more likely.
- Use the “what if” scenario with your child to discuss a variety of circumstances and possible actions the child can take.
- Although the frequency of occurrence is rare, teach your children that if a stranger ever attempts to grab them, they should do everything they can to stop the stranger from dragging them away and/or forcing them into his or her car. Tell them to drop to the ground, kick, bite and repeatedly scream, “You’re not my mother/father. Call the police, Help!” Instruct children to do whatever it takes to attract the attention of others who can help.
Hanover Township Police Chief Mark Roddy wants to remind you to call the Police Department at 973-428-2512 or 911 if you see anything suspicious.
Please speak with your child and remind him/her of safety precautions in regard to strangers.