How to Talk to Your Child About Stranger Danger

How to Talk to Your Child About Stranger Danger

Keeping children safe is every parent’s priority. While the world is filled with kind people, it’s essential to have open conversations with your child about “stranger danger.” These discussions help equip kids with the knowledge and confidence to protect themselves in potentially unsafe situations.

Why “Stranger Danger” Conversations are Important

It’s normal to want to shield children from scary topics, but avoiding this conversation can be a missed opportunity. Talking about stranger safety helps:

  • Empower your child: Gives them tools and strategies to stay safe.
  • Reduce anxiety: Knowing what to do can replace fear with preparedness.
  • Open lines of communication: Reminds children they can always turn to you with concerns.

Defining “Stranger” for Your Child

Start by explaining “stranger” in a way young children understand: “A stranger is anyone you and your family don’t know.” Avoid generalizations based on appearance, as this can be misleading.

Key Safety Rules

Focus on simple, memorable rules:

  • Never Go Anywhere with a Stranger
    • No walking away, getting in a car, or going into someone’s house without you present, even with permission.
  • Never Accept Gifts or Rides
    • Strangers shouldn’t offer treats, toys, or promise fun activities.
  • The Importance of Saying “NO”
    • Encourage your child to loudly say “NO!” and get away from a stranger who’s making them uncomfortable.
  • Trusting Your Gut
    • Explain that if a situation feels scary or wrong, even if the person seems nice, they should get away.

What to do if Approached

  • Yell, Run, and Tell
    • Your child should yell for help, run to a safe place, and immediately tell a trusted adult.
  • Identifying Safe Adults
    • Discuss who they can find: A teacher, police officer, store employee with a name tag, or a parent with children.

Role-Playing for Practice

  • Age-Appropriate Scenarios
    • Present situations they might encounter: “Someone at the park offers you candy…”
  • Acting Out Responses
    • Have them practice saying “NO!”, running, and finding help.

Ongoing Conversations

  • Regular Check-Ins
    • Don’t make it a one-time talk. Revisit the topic as your child gets older.
  • Adapting as Your Child Grows
    • Discuss more nuanced situations teens might face (online strangers, etc.).


  • “What if a stranger asks for help?” Teach children to refer adults in need to other adults.
  • “Won’t this make my child too scared?” Focus on empowerment, not fear-mongering.
  • “At what age do I start this talk?” Start simple, even with toddlers, and build on it as they age.

Additional Safety Resources (AMAZON LINKS)


Talking about stranger danger is an act of love. By having open conversations, you help protect your child and empower them with skills that build confidence and resilience.