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What to teach kids about stranger safety

By Anne Meyer, ameyer@kwch.com
Published On: Feb 19 2014 05:37:37 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2014 06:59:00 PM CST

What happened in Missouri has parents in Kansas talking to their kids about safety and what they should do in a situation like this.

At playgrounds around town, many parents had the Missouri Amber Alert on their minds.

"Yes, I am very cautious about who he is around and make sure to pay attention to my surroundings," said Wichita Parent Kristen Howery.

Andrea Anglin was so moved by what happened, because her daughter is the same age as the girl who died, she posted a video on Facebook. It gives advice on how to talk to kids about strangers.

"You can't judge a book by it's cover with that," Anglin said. "It really important for kids to understand that so they can stay safe."

Experts say parents should teach their kids to be proactive, doing things like never playing alone and always traveling in groups.

"The next message we want to send is if anyone every comes up to you and you are uncomfortable with that, whether they are a stranger or not, feel free to yell, scream, create a scene," said USD 259 Security Services Executive Director Terri Moses.

Plus Moses encourages parents to stay away from the term "stranger danger".

"It really implies that people you know are always safe and we know historically that is not the case," Moses said.

Moms like Andrea Anglin feel it's advice that can be share with her kids over and over again.

"We will have this conversation again with my daughter when she starts dating, and when she goes to college," Anglin said. "It will be constant."

Moses says it's also a good idea to practice what you preach. Play out different scenarios with your kids, like what to do if a stranger tries to give you a gift or asks you into their car, it's a good way to see how they will react in those situations.

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