User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


52° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

The 'Stranger Danger' Message

November 13, 2012, 9:58 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

The 'Stranger Danger' Message
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Is the stranger danger warning outdated?

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says it doesn't support the simple message to ‘not talk to strangers.’

The agency believes children should not just be told to stay away from strangers but says they need a more complete message on how to be safe.

"We have to make sure they know what to do since we walk to and from school so if they see a stranger, they know what to do," Sioux Falls mother Stacy Blackmun said as she walked her two sons home from school.

Blackmun has talked about strangers with her kindergartner and her second-grade son. Blackmun says that message goes beyond the simple line of 'Don't talk to strangers.'

"I think there has to be a little more to the message. They need to be aware a stranger is in fact a stranger and if something doesn't seem right, they need to just drop their backpacks and run to an adult.  Yell fire, kick if someone tries to grab them and just run.  Just get away from the person and try to tell an adult that's nearby," Blackmun said.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says the stranger danger slogan is a misguided message for kids because not all strangers are bad while the people children know well may want to harm them.

Bob Draeger is a School Resource Officer for the Sioux Falls Police Department.

"Stranger danger, we still use that term; it's an easy term, but we go way beyond just stranger danger," Draeger said.

Draeger gives presentations to students in Sioux Falls schools every month, including talks on how to stay safe. He says parents need to tell their children who they can trust.

"They need to be reinforcing to their kids that there are certain neighbors that are trustworthy, and they need to let their kids know who those people are," Draeger said.

Blackmun says she has done that with her children.

"We tell them either a teacher, someone who is wearing one of those fluorescent vests across the school, or go in and tell the principal. Those are the people," Blackmun said.

But when there is not one of those trustworthy adults around, children also need to know where they can go and who else can be trusted, in times of trouble.

"Kids need to know that there are strangers that they will have to talk to at times, but there are certain strangers that are good," Draeger said.

Sioux Falls mother Miranda Ankeny has talked with her five-year-old son about strangers and has told him who he can talk to.

"If you get lost in the store, you find someone who looks like they would be a mom, someone who works in the store.  But if someone tells you to get in to their car or just comes up and starts talking to you, we just walk away," Ankeny said.

Convenience stores are another safe place parents can tell children they can go if they think they are in danger.

"We tell kids, store clerks, convenience stores are everywhere. They can go there; there are cameras at all of them. They are a very safe place for a kid to go for help," Draeger said.

Draeger says parents also need to talk to their kids about people who they know that may harm them.

"Also need to let kids know that people they trust shouldn't be doing things that make them uncomfortable, even if there's a trusted person and they do something that kid doesn't feel is right, they need to tell somebody," Draeger said.

Police say parents should start talking to their children about strangers and safety anywhere from preschool-age up to first grade.

"But don't let the message get too complicated. A lot of things with kids are very black and white. If you make it too complicated, they can't process that," Draeger said.

Telling children who they can trust and where they can go in times of trouble will help them on their way to school or wherever they are going.

"To a certain extent, he has to know when someone looks okay to talk to and when it's a scary situation," Ankeny said.

Giving kids a broader message about safety can help them avoid those scary situations.

Police say you should also continue to tell your children to not walk alone, to walk on sidewalks and in well-lit places to avoid any dangerous situations.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View featured stories

You may also like

Battling For Brendan

9/28/2014 10:00 PM

He helped lead the Avon Pirates to a state championship in football almost one year ago, but today number 22 Brendan Anderson is tackling a different ...

Full Story | Watch
Boathouse Apparel, Living That Lake Life

9/24/2014 10:05 PM

When you are at the lake, all the rules seem to just float away. Work calls become background noise, stress subsides, and you may even throw your diet...

Full Story | Watch
Forestburg Vine Decline

9/29/2014 9:55 PM

The worker shortage that's impacted many sectors of South Dakota's economy is also taking root in the melon patches south of Huron.

Full Story | Watch
EROS Plays Role In Study Of Climate Change

9/25/2014 10:05 PM

This week, President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations on climate change and the United States' pledge to do what it can to combat it. &nb...

Full Story | Watch
Lawmakers Hope For Answers In The EB-5 Investigation

9/23/2014 10:20 PM

South Dakota lawmakers are hoping to have answers Wednesday to the questions that have been swirling around the immigrant investor EB-5 program for th...

Full Story | Watch


Events