Playing outside is a lot of fun and one of the best parts of the day. The playground at school and at the park are both great places to run and play, but did you know that they can be dangerous for kids? You, and other kids like you, can stay safe by learning about "Stranger Danger." Stranger danger helps kids stay safe because it teaches you how to stay away from people who are strangers. It is also really good because it helps kids know what to do if a stranger makes them feel scared and unsafe.
Do you know what a stranger is? Do you know what a stranger looks like? If you don't know, that's okay, because it is really very easy to remember. A stranger is a person that you don't know. It's that easy! Don't be fooled by thinking a stranger is good because they are pretty or talk nicely to you. Even people who don't look bad or act mean can be strangers.
Police officers and firemen are strangers, but they are considered "good" strangers. You can tell that they are good if they are wearing a uniform and drive a police car or fire truck. If a stranger says he or she is a police officer or a fireman, but doesn't have these things or makes you scared, think "danger" and do not follow them.
When you are at the playground or in the park:
- Never go anyplace where you can't see your teacher or parents.
- Never go where they can't see you.
- Don't walk off or go into areas that are dark or where there are no people who you know.
- If you have to go to the bathroom, tell your parents or teacher.
- If you are walking to or from the park by yourself, walk quickly and don't stop anywhere else.
- If you can, always use the "buddy" system and walk with a friend. The buddy system means you'll never be alone when walking from the playground.
When you walk past strangers don't get too close! Always walk far enough away that they can't reach out and grab you. Sometimes a stranger may try to talk to you or get you to go places with them. A stranger might ask you if you need a ride, ask for directions, or they might ask if you want to come see the kitten or puppy in their car. These are tricks and doing what they ask is dangerous!
If someone you don't know walks up to you, talks to you, or makes you feel uncomfortable, run away as fast as you can and tell someone you trust! You don't have to talk to anyone that you don't know and strangers should never ask you questions or try to get close to you. If a stranger touches you, you should run and yell as loud as you can. When you yell it makes people pay attention and know that you need help.
If a stranger grabs you and tries to take you away, fight as hard as you can. Hit, kick, and scream "I don't know you!" or "Stranger!" Keep fighting until you can get away or someone comes to help. Once you are free, run away, and go find an adult that you trust. If you are on the playground at school, find a teacher or a yard supervisor. If you are at a park, find your parents, an adult that you trust, or run to a nearby store, library, or the house of a friend.
Because there are bad people who hang around parks and playgrounds, talk with your parents about stranger danger. Ask them what are the safest places to run if you are afraid. The next time you and your friends are playing at a park or at a playground, pay attention to the people around you. Paying attention and following your parents or teachers' rules will help keep you safe from strangers and danger.
If you want to read more about strangers and stranger danger, click the links below.
- Stranger Danger
- Stranger Danger Tips
- McGruff Crime Dog – Strangers
- Do You Know How to be Street Smart
- What to do if Approached by a Stranger
- Student Safety Tips
- Safety Sam: Stranger Danger Lesson
- Personal Safety - Stranger Danger
- Child Safety Tips - Stranger Safety Tips for Children
- Who is a Stranger? (PDF)
- Safety Tips for Kids Dealing with Strangers (PDF)
Find more about the author: Kim Hart