5 Safety Tips For Kids Who Encounter Inappropriate Behaviours From “Tricky People”

“Don’t talk to strangers!” This popular piece of parental advice was received by the vast majority of us when we were growing up. However, there is so much more that can be added to the warning. People who have bad intentions (we refer to them as “tricky people”) find various ways to endear themselves towards children. They use excuses or stories such as needing help to find a lost puppy or directions to a nearby location.

Although most people are good and mean no harm, it’s imperative that young children follow rules to avoid any and all possibility of a horrifying scenario. Tricky people will often come off as kind-hearted and generous when they are really up to no good. They may offer gifts or compliments in an attempt to gain trust and friendship from youngsters. This is why it’s vital that children avoid these advances at all costs.

Here are five safety tips for kids who encounter inappropriate behaviours from tricky people:

1. Never go with someone you don’t know.

No matter how nice a stranger may seem, it is unsafe to go anywhere with that person. Tricky people will often feign familiarity or purport to know a child’s parents. Remember that you don’t have to decide if the person is good or bad. If you have never met or heard of the individual attempting to get close to you, he or she cannot be trusted. A child should never go with anyone they don’t know, period!

2. Know that adults should only seek help from other adults.

Not only are you under no obligation to help someone find a lost puppy or give directions, those requests should never be made of children. If an adult needs help, he or she should ask another adult. A child should never be asked to provide an adult with assistance.

3. Use a family code word.

A family code word is a word or phrase that a trusted individual would know because your parents or guardians have shared it. Let’s say a friend of the family was asked to pick you up from school. He or she should be required to provide you with the family code word. It could be anything your family decides upon like “pickles” or “orangutan”. If a person either refuses to provide the code word or simply doesn’t know it, don’t go anywhere with him or her. Remember to never share your family code word with anyone.

4. Take five steps back.

It’s always wise to keep a fairly safe distance from any stranger attempting to get close to you. If someone in a vehicle stops to talk to you, take five steps back. This will keep you out of arms reach. Be sure not to get drawn in any closer because of friendly gestures or promises of treats.

5. Yell “NO!” and then “GO!”

Don’t be afraid to use your voice! In many cases, someone who may be able to help will be within earshot. If a person’s actions or words make you feel unsafe, yell “NO!” with confidence and GO right away. Drawing attention can help to ward off a bad situation. Do your best to remember details about the person so that you can give them to a trusted adult or the police as soon as you can.

How does SOS 4 Kids help kids to avoid tricky people?

Our My Safe Life is designed for children aged 7 to 10. In addition to many other safety measures, the personal safety program teaches kids how to spot tricky people. To learn all about it, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-844-373-1024 or email us at [email protected]. You may also fill out the form on our Contact page!