Stranger Danger for anytime
Strangers can be men or women, young or old. They can have any color skin. Some are tall and some are short, some are thin some are heavy. Some strangers are pretty and some are not so pretty. Some strangers can speak different languages. Most strangers are nice, but some strangers are mean. Because you don’t know if someone is a good stranger or a bad one you should not talk to anyone you don’t know.
Stranger danger, are the buzz words commonly used to refer to the important topic of teaching children about the inherent dangers they may face as they venture out into the world.
Unfortunately the world is a scary place and there are people out there who prey on children. No doubt, it is a very important issue that all parents must address and one that requires ongoing, open communication with their children.
The single most important thing to remember when teaching your children about stranger danger is to instill confidence, rather than fear.
You want to equip your child with the knowledge and strategies they will need to protect themselves in dangerous situations. Also, keep your childs age and maturity level in mind and base lessons upon that.
Again, stranger danger lessons should be ongoing adapt the conversation as your child grows as he/she is likely to encounter different types of situations.
· Always tell your parents where you are going.
· Bad people do not always look mean or scary.
· Do not get close to strangers. Make sure you have room to run.
· Never go with a stranger to help look for a lost pet or play a game.
· Never get into a car with anyone you dont know.
· If a stranger bothers you, run away and ask an adult for help.
· Know safe places you can go a police or fire station, the library, a store or a friends house.
· If a stranger follows you or grabs for you, yell loud! Shout, I dont know you! Fight back and make as much noise as you can.
· If anyone touches you in a bad way, say, NO! Get away and tell an adult you trust. Keep telling until someone listens.
IF YOUR CHILDREN ARE OLD ENOUGH TO STAY ALONE, BE SURE TO TELL THEM TO:
· Know how and when to call 911.
· Never open the door to a stranger.
· Never tell anyone on the phone you are home alone.
· Never tell any callers your name, number or address.
· Hang up right away if you do not like what someone is saying on the phone.
Always have an updated photo of your child. On the back put important information such as, name, date of birth, height, weight, and hair and eye color.
Many walkers fear being attacked or mugged by a stranger. You need to “look forward to being attacked.”
There is no technique or tip or weapon to guarantee you won’t be attacked. If you have been attacked, and you are reading this, you did the right thing – whatever you did allowed you to survive. You won. The bad guys have surprise on their side and even the best martial arts expert can become a target. If it happens to you, don’t agonize over coulda-shoulda-woulda. You survived. You won.
Choice of walking routes
Walk indoors: Treadmills are an option for those who do not have a place to walk they consider to be safe. Some sports facilities have indoor tracks as well. Use the further tips below to stay safe in the parking lot or to and from your home.
High pedestrian traffic areas: Bad guys don’t want witnesses. Being in view of a well-traveled vehicular street is good, but having people on the path with you is better.
Open areas: Paths lined with bushes and trees are pleasant for walking, but afford many hiding places for the bad guys and places they can take you to finish their crimes out of view.
Strangers aren’t out to attack YOU. It is nothing personal, they are just looking for a target of opportunity. Your goal, therefore, is to look like somebody who will be too much trouble to mess with. They also want to make you their victim without attracting attention from others.
Attitude: Keep your head up and striding purposefully. Look aware of your surroundings and be aware of them. Headphones may give the impression that you are less aware. Lt. Jim Bullard suggests your mental attitude should be, “No low life scum is going to spoil three minutes of my day!”
Companions: Walking with a friend or group reduces your chance of attack significantly.
Dog: Walking with a dog, even a little ankle-biter, will greatly reduce the chance of attack. Obey all licensing, leash, and doo-doo ordinances in the jurisdiction you are walking through.
Stick: Why mess with somebody with a walking/hiking stick when there are lots of people without one?
Alarm: A brightly colored personal body alarm can be a deterrent when visibly worn. Bad guys don’t want to attract attention. A whistle is also a good signal device.
Pepper spray: Where legal, carrying this in your hand or visibly displayed may be a deterrent.
As I said above, there is no guaranteed way to prevent being chosen as a target, some bad guys just can’t read the clues that you are more trouble than they bargained for. Now is your chance to prove it.
LASTLY SOME MISCELLANEOUS PERSONAL SECURITY AND SAFETY TIPS
1. Use the elbow it is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
2. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss is away from you…chances are that he is more interested in our wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver wont see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.) DONT DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.
1. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head, DO NOT DRIVE OFF, repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your air bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.
5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot or parking garage:
A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
C.) Look at the car parked on the drivers side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.
IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)
6. Finally, if the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times. And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, preferably in a zigzag pattern!
Remember not all strangers or predators look mean and scary. Raise your sense of awareness and dont become a victim.
Safety First, Safety Always!!
Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau