Host: What are the most important things parents should tell a child about safety issues?
Nancy McBride: The most important things that parents and guardians should talk their kids about is the fact that this -- not to fall for this stranger danger myth for one thing. To be able to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations not people and the reason I say that is because many people who wish kids harm, appear to be friendly and benign and open and they may ask kids to do things for them, like Would you help me find my lost puppy? that one is still around and that one still works or Can you tell me how to get to whatever street? Let us remember one thing, if an adult wants to get somewhere, they are not going to ask a kid how to do it, they are going to ask another adult. So, these types of individuals are trying to engage a child in conversation and what we need to teach our kids is Your safety is much more important than being polite, you do not have to respond, we do not want you talking to this person, your only job as a child is to get out of that situation as quickly as you can, run away from it and come and tell a trusted adult what happened? That trusted adult can be the parent, the guardian, a relative, it could be the teacher.
Let us say something happens to a child on the way to school, they may run away to school and then the tell their teacher what happened, we have got to let kids know that there are adults out there, they can go to if they are in trouble, safety nets, if you will and tell them what s bothering them or what is troubling them or what happened to them and those adults would be there to help. But the only thing kids need to know in that situation is, get out of that as quickly as you can and tell somebody what happened.