Should I talk to a stranger?

No. Although most of the strangers you encounter treat children with respect, there are dangerous people who do harmful things to children. Sometimes hurtful people can fool kids into thinking they are gentle and helpful. They may have pleasant faces and friendly voices, and they may say nice things. So it’s important to follow personal safety rules with all strangers. What can you do to stay safe when you are outside or away from home? Play with at least one other kid in familiar places. Don’t go near a car with a stranger in it, even if the person says he or she has a gift for you, or needs your help to find a lost pet, or is asking for directions. Think about it this way: if an adult really needed help, he or she would ask another adult, not a kid. Do not accept a ride home from school or anywhere from someone you don’t know, even if that person says your parents asked him or her to pick you up, and even if that person knows your name. Avoid situations where you are alone with an adult you don’t know unless it is a person your parents have arranged for you to meet with, like a doctor, teacher, or counselor.

If a stranger approaches you, tell that person to please not speak to you because you don’t know him or her. If the stranger continues toward you, start yelling and run away. If you need help, your best bet is to go to a public space like a store, a library, or a police station. Afterward, be sure to tell your parents about your experience with the stranger.