We’ve all heard the warnings growing up. In fact, we still teach our children the same things from young: don’t talk to strangers, don’t follow them anywhere. But how effective is this exactly? According to an experiment done by ITV’s Daybreak, these warnings may not be enough. 7 out of 9 children in the experiment forgot all they had been taught about stranger danger when they were approached by a stranger who asked for help with his lost dog. The longest time taken for the man to persuade a child to leave with him was a mere three minutes. The shortest he took was 33 seconds. Less than a minute. That’s the time it takes for a careless parent to just look away. This experiment highlights an important lesson for parents: protecting your children from stranger danger goes beyond verbal cautions.
So what can parents do to protect their children? Here are some tips!
1. Teach them who ‘trusted adults’ are.
Don’t just put all unfamiliar adults under the blanket term ‘strangers’ but instead teach your children who they can turn to when in trouble, such as policemen or retail staff in malls. This can be crucial in moments of need when family members are not around or when your child gets lost.
2. Learn your child’s daily routine.
Very often, parents make the mistake of completely not monitoring their children as giving them space to grow and gain independence. While the latter is infinitely important, parents still need to pay attention to their children’s whereabouts and daily routine. Let your children make their own way home but make sure you know what route they are taking and how long the route takes.
Oaxis’ MyFirst Fone is a godsend in helping parents keep an eye on their children while allowing them to take their first steps towards independence. It has a geofencing function which allows parents to preset a safe zone and sends an alert when your child crosses the boundary. Furthermore, you can also receive real-time updates on their location through MyFirst Fone’s precise GPS tracking!
3. Teach them to be aware of their surroundings
Children need to be taught a sense of awareness and to trust their instincts. If they feel like something is wrong, they need to respond immediately. MyFirst Fone lets children send out distress signals to their parents with a simple tap. Once the one-touch SOS is activated, parents will receive an emergency location notification and 30-second live recording of the surrounding sounds. The fast response can mean the world. After all, it only takes 33 seconds for a stranger to lure your child away.