Stranger Danger

By Dina Ginzburg

Chances are you’ve often heard your parents warning you not to talk to strangers. You end up hearing it so often that the words lose their meaning and you don’t really think about it. The fact is that 60,000 kids go missing in Canada each year. While the chances of getting abducted aren’t as high as you’d think, it’s important to know what to do to keep yourself safe.

1. Don’t talk to strangers.

2. Don’t follow a stranger, get into a stranger’s car or accept food or drink from one.

3. If someone asks for directions, keep walking. If they’re really lost, they’ll ask an adult.

4. Make sure that someone knows where you are at all times. Let your parents know if you’re going to be late coming home or if you’re going outside with your friends.

5. Establish a buddy system with your friends so that nobody ever ends up wandering alone.

6. If you have a cell phone, make sure it’s on and has enough battery so that you can call someone if you need help.

7. If you’re alone, walk along well-lit streets where there are lots of other people.

8. If you think you’re being followed, get help by walking into the first store you see or calling for help.

9. A stranger grabbing you is one of the few times where screaming and kicking are the answer. Yell as loud as you can to get attention from a passersby and bite, kick or do whatever it takes to be left alone.

10. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If something doesn’t feel right, even if you can’t explain why, use any of the tips above to get yourself out of the situation. Overreacting is better than not reacting at all.