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Stranger Danger/Online Safety

17 May 2022 (by elmpark)

Stranger Danger

This is a reminder to parents and carers about making sure your child/ren understands basic safety facts

There have been recent incidents outside of school involving online situations, as well as face to face situations, where children have encountered a stranger talking to them, but have not used their stranger safety knowledge immediately to keep themselves as safe as possible.

It’s important to talk to your child/ren about staying safe in a simple way. Try not to create a fear of people they don't know (as some strangers are helpful - police, nurses etc) rather teach them to recognise the danger in a situation, regardless of who’s involved.

Please can I ask you to make a point of discussing important safety information with your child:

  • It is not enough to tell your children simply not to talk to strangers. With families spread out far and wide, some relatives may be less familiar to your child than some of the people that show up in a child's daily life, such as people at your favourite stores or restaurants, and other people that you see regularly but do not know well. 
  • Teach your child that they should consult you before making any contact with these familiar people, and they should never go anywhere with these people unless you approve it. While it can be difficult to teach a child stranger safety facts about people that they feel they know, it is essential. 
  • Setup "trusted" adults for your children as you teach them to avoid talking to strangers. Knowing who they should always trust will help children make wise, safe choices when confronted with strangers or even people they are familiar with. 
  • Teach them the rule that they shouldn’t go anywhere with anyone - even if they know them - if it hasn’t been agreed in advance by a parent or carer.
  • Teach your child not to take any food, sweets, toys, or other gifts from anyone other than you and their other safe adults. Tell your child to reject offers even if the person with the "gift" says that mum/dad approve or they say that they know you. 
  • Make a point of teaching your child that people they don't know will often be friendly that's because most people are friendly and helpful but if you do not know them and you as parents/carers have not given them permission (even if the adult tells you they have got permission from you) they must not keep talking to them, accept anything from them or go anywhere with them but instead must phone you as parents straight away and walk home immediately. 

Online safety

Talk to them about what they are doing online. Here are some helpful questions:

  • What are their favourite things to do online?
  • If their favourite activity is YouTube, what do they enjoy watching? Is it gaming or hobby related?
  • What games do they like to play and why? Is it because they enjoy that game or is it because that’s where all their friends are?
  • What apps do they use and why do they use them? If you haven’t heard of the app, ask them to show you how it works.
  • Ask who they are talking to?
  • Ask them about who they’re talking to. If it’s people they don’t know offline, try not to be angry with them. Instead ask questions about how they met and what sort of things they talk about. Remind them that not everyone online is who they say they are and that they should never arrange to meet someone offline.
  • Remind them about strangers
  • Remind them never to share private or personal information. Use examples, such as “You shouldn’t give your number to a stranger on the street. Is somebody online you don’t know any different?” Give examples of other personal information such as names, locations, school.

Have these conversations regularly, as children learn through repetition and hearing and talking through things again and again. 

Kind regards

Victoria Morris