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How to limit stranger danger

Remind your child that almost always a person who could potentially abuse them physically or sexually is not a stranger at all, so perhaps the most important rule is to tell your child to trust their own instincts. If someone makes them feel uncomfortable, or if they feel something is just not right, they need to walk away immediately even if they cannot explain why.

If you think your child may have been sexually abused, please call 211 or the Department of Children and Family Services at (800) 649-5285 if you live in Vermont. New York residents can call the New York State Central Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment at (800) 635-1522.

Hopefully you'll find tips like this anything but strange when it comes to helping your child know better what to do about strangers, and people they may know but not feel comfortable being around..

Lewis First, M.D., is chief of Pediatrics at Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. You can also catch "First with Kids" weekly on WOKO 98.9FM and WPTZ Channel 5, or visit the First with Kids video archives at http://www.FletcherAllen.org/firstwithkids

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