How To Make The Internet Safer For Children #StopChildAbuse
Safety Tips for Parents & Children
Non Stranger Danger
* Be alert to behaviour or interaction, from a
relative or friend, that makes you or your child feel uncomfortable.
* Explain to your child, in age appropriate
terms, where touching is not okay, such as touching mouths and areas covered by
their swimming costumes.
* Be alert to overly ingratiating or endearing
behaviour that can lead to separation of child and parent.
* Listen openly at any time your child ‘tells’
about feeling uncomfortable or ‘yucky’.
* Avoid blaming or being judgmental if your
* Be alert for a combination of warning signs
of potential danger- the greatest indicator is a change in several behaviours-
(but be aware that these are only warning signs- they may indicate other
* Any genital bruising, unusual genital
discomfort or repetitive urinary tract infections
* Torn or missing under garments
* A return to bedwetting, nightmares or
* Sudden onset of phobias, such as fear of
leaving house or fear of dark
* Increase in anxiety, withdrawal or mood
swings at unusual times
* Unusual aggression and/or violent or explicit
* Self harming or secretive, inappropriate
* Resistance to being left with a previously
trusted or liked adult.
* Unusual ‘clingyness’ around a particular
* Advanced sexual knowledge for their
Stranger Danger Tips
For Parents and Children
* ‘Stranger Danger’ is better referred to as a
small part of teaching children protective behaviours.
* ‘Stranger Danger’ is only a very small part
of protective behaviour work, as 85% of danger or abuse to children occurs with
someone known to the child or trusted by the child.
* The Protective Behaviours Organisations have
undertaken work for many years to protect children from all dangers and to allow
them to be safe in all environments.
* Protective behaviour should focus on stranger
danger, predators, relatives or friends and Internet or online
* The aim is to teach children to be safe, to
be aware of predatory strangers, and to be self protective.
* Teaching protective behaviours, or ‘stranger
danger’ is a delicate balance of raising awareness, without unnecessarily
alarming children or paralysing them with fear.
* It is equally important to emphasise that the
majority of adults are caring, loving and responsible, not ‘bad people’, to
* Of important note is that the majority of
abuse of children occurs through people known to the child or close to
* As such, a typical child response that a
stranger is a nasty, bad person, shows their immature naivety or lack of
* A typical predator will likely be dressed in
friendly clothes, be funny or ingratiating, and more likely nice, enticing or
bearing treats and offers.
* A stranger is any person that they do not
What To Tell Your
Child About A Stranger
* Tell your child not to listen to nor be near
a stranger – rather move away or back inside.
* Tell your child to never ever go with a
stranger – no matter what the stranger says.
* Tell your child that strangers may make up
sad stories, like looking for a lost pet, needing help with a sick child or
* Tell your child that a stranger should never
be believed, no matter what they say.
* Tell your child that strangers may offer
treats, gifts or lollies for ‘helping’.
* Tell your child that you will never send a
stranger to collect them. Make a list of the only, known people, you would send
to pick them up.
* Tell your child to go immediately back inside
and ask someone they know, if unsure.
Practise makes perfect
Having explained ‘stranger danger’ or
protective behaviour you might breathe a big sigh of relief. However, research
shows that kids often can quote what mum or dad said very well, but when placed
in the situation, they more often still give in.
* At home, role play certain situations with
your child, such as pretending mum is sick and that a new person needs to take
* Role play or practise a variety of strategies
or other scenarios.
* Try a test in a safe environment at home,
such as an unfamiliar friend at the front door trying to entice them outside to
look at a sick, cute rabbit.
* Research shows that kids often ‘forget’ after
a period of time. Thus a yearly family refresher course is very
* Teach your child never to wander off or go
out of sight.
* Teach your child to always walk with and stay
with friends – to never go alone.
* Teach and practice saying NO loudly and
repeatedly, if they are unsure.
* Teach your child to yell HELP or CALL THE
POLICE as loudly and repeatedly as possible, until they are heard. Predators
hate noise and attention.
* Teach your child to find a safe adult (a
policeman or a mum with a stroller) or a safe spot, if they are fearful, such as
a school, shop or safety sign. However don’t tell your child that all uniforms
are safe as some predators may be wearing a uniform.
A healthy balance
* Assure your child that most adults are
loving, caring and trustworthy.
* Discuss good, safe and friendly people in the
world, to avoid fear of all adults.
* Remind your child of helpful adults, like
firemen, teachers, police, doctors, etc.
* Remind your child of ‘good’ adults in their
world, who can be trusted.
* Protect them from over exposure to graphic
* Encourage your child to ‘tell’ if they even
think they came across a stranger.
* Encourage your child to ‘tell’ if they felt
scared, unsure or uncomfortable (‘yucky’ with any adult).
* Affirm that you will be happy and praise them
for ‘telling’ – that they won’t be in trouble.
* Affirm that you will listen and believe
Protective Safety For Parents
know where your kids are.
your kids within your sight or supervision.
alert to other people around you, but not paranoid.
alert to Internet threats – research shows predators are increasingly luring
more mature kids through the Internet, such as online, through forums, chat
lines and message systems.
keep young children’s computers within your vision (not in their bedrooms), and
under your supervision.
a ‘Net-Nanny’ or Parental Control Software program on your computer.
your child to never ever give out personal or private information.