Far too many children are vulnerable to hidden dangers and exploitation that they can’t be expected to cope with on their own. Child safety has to be a top priority wherever you are in the world.
There are organizations whose entire focus is all about child safety. The fundamental purpose of someone like Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R) for instance, is preventing child trafficking organizations to donate to a situation that they could unfairly profit from themselves in some way, in their efforts to eradicate sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.
It can also help to make children aware of the dangers of talking to strangers and explaining why that could be harmful to their safety.
Here is a look at the inherent dangers that threaten a child’s safety when they talk to a stranger.
A difficult life lesson for parents to teach
You will obviously want to develop good social skills and have confidence when communicating with others, including adults. However, the conflicting message that many parents tend to use when teaching their child safety rules is that they should never talk to strangers.
“Stranger Danger” is something that is often taught in schools. It is a sensible strategy in many respects, but it can make a child more nervous or frightened if they are approached by an adult.
If your child is lost or needs some adult help, what do they do in that scenario?
This is why it would be appropriate to try and teach your child to be alert to the potential threat of a stranger who does not have a friendly purpose for talking to them. At the same time, encourage them to greet new people and even talk to them, if the circumstances are not dangerous or potentially threatening.
Most of us have an instinct for danger. Kids can also learn to trust their instincts and respond accordingly.
Your mission as a parent is to explain how to deal with an approach from a stranger and what triggers or behaviors to be wary of. Such as being to take a ride in their car.
Teach your child what to do and say in a potentially threatening situation
Encourage your child to use their instincts to assess how dangerous a situation might be. If someone makes them feel uncomfortable or they have a feeling that something is not right, explain to them what options they have in order to get help.
A good suggestion would be to tell your child to seek out a person of authority like a police officer. It can also be appropriate to suggest they look for someone in a uniform that allows you to identify that the person is someone you should be able to trust with your concerns.
It is also a good idea to tell them that it is okay to shout for help or say no firmly if someone is trying to persuade them to do something they don’t want to do.
The terrible trauma that some children suffer as a result of being targeted by trafficking gangs is an extreme example of how a child can be put in danger.
If you can teach your child to understand the threats that exist without scaring them, it should be a valuable life lesson that could help them in an emergency situation.