Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: Talking to kids about stranger danger

Posted at 8:15 AM, Aug 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-11 08:15:39-04

With kids back in school, it's a good time for the grownups to talk to children about how strangers can be potentially dangerous, but you don't want to scare them. Fox 4 has tips to help you have that conversation.

Walking to and from the bus stop or home from school, children are at risk of stranger danger.

“When we talk about stranger danger, we have to be careful. We don’t want to create anxiety and fear with your child, but you want to balance that with their safety and their security," Dr. Richard So, a pediatrician with Cleveland Clinic Children's, said.

He recommends explaining to a child that there's never a reason an adult would need a child's help finding something. He said it’s also a good idea to go over some scenarios where a bad person might ask them for help. For example, they might say they lost their puppy and need help finding it, or they may try to entice them with treats or electronics.

Dr. So said it’s also important to teach your kids who the “good people” are, like police officers, firefighters and teachers, or someone with a badge at a store.

He recommends coming up with a family password.

“I tell my patients to have a secret family password that only is only between your family, so if someone comes up to my child and says, ‘Hey, your mom is running behind, she’s at the hospital, she was in a car accident, she told me to pick you up.’ My kids are trained to say, 'Hey, what’s our secret family password?'" he said.

If your child gets lost, Dr. So said it's OK to tell your children they can ask another parent for help.