Health Tip: Talk to Kids About Strangers

(HealthDay News) -- It's important to teach children about personal safety and dealing with strangers in a way that is informative but not frightening.

The University of Michigan Health System offers these tips:

  • Instead of talking in generalities, such as telling a child never to talk to a stranger, be more specific. If a child is lost and needs help, the child should understand exactly what to do.
  • Explain that the child should never accept anything from a stranger.
  • Teach a child to never go near a stranger's car, even for a split second.
  • Explain to the child to never offer an adult help, such as in finding a pet.
  • A stranger should never be allowed to take a child's picture.
  • Even if a stranger knows the child's name, it does not mean the person is to be trusted.
  • Explain that even people that a child recognizes, such as the mail carrier or newspaper deliverer, are still to be treated as strangers.
  • A child should never go with someone who says he is a police officer and shows a badge.