The New Stranger Danger

A couple of weeks ago the kids and I were at the craft store shopping for supplies. Let me tell you, shopping along in any store with 3 small children is no easy feat. At one point we finished looking in one aisle and turned to go to the next. I turn around and the 2 kids not in the cart are no longer behind me. I go back to the previous aisle to tell them to scoot their booties and they’re NOT THERE! Immediately a feeling of panic washes through me and I start calling their names. Thankfully, they immediately come around the corner but, as any parent that has also and we again went over the rules for the store. It inspired me to make sure that you have the tools to keep your child safe as well and not only in the store. That is why I’m sharing these tips to protect your children from the new stranger danger.


You never want to believe that being abducted could happen to your child. Keep your child safe from the new stranger danger with these tips.

1. Talk Early and Often

The first way to help protect your kids is to talk to them early and often. Don’t talk only about how to prevent things like abduction. Also talk with your child about what to do in the event that someone grabs them. If you need tips for what to tell your child:

  • Scream, yell, and make a huge scene. There are no rules in such an event.
  • Make sure your child knows to yell “Fire!” instead of “Help!” People are more likely to respond to the former instead of the latter.
  • Tell your child to immediately drop all of his or her weight. This makes it harder for the abductor to take your child which increases the likelihood that they will give up.

When I worked in retail, we were trained on child abductions and how to prevent them. Speed and concealment are the key factors of abduction. Many kids’ appearances are changed by quickly cutting their hair and/or clothing in the bathroom before walking them right out the door. The more difficult your child makes it on his or her attacker, the higher the chances that the abductor will move on to an easier target.


Keep your child safe from the new stranger danger with these tips. Click To Tweet


You never want to believe that being abducted could happen to your child. Keep your child safe from the new stranger danger with these tips.

2. It Is Not About Hiding Names

When we were growing up we were warned against wearing our name on our clothing and monograms quickly went out of style. In this day and age it is really impossible to completely hide your child’s name from someone who really wants it. It can be as simple as following you around the store and listening for you to say it. In addition to that, your children get bus tags at school, names and contact information are put on team rosters, and more. Because this information is so easy to get in the digital era, it is of growing importance to teach your child how to stay safe instead of trying to conceal his or her name.


You never want to believe that being abducted could happen to your child. Keep your child safe from the new stranger danger with these tips.

3. Have Clear Rules

Protecting your kids from strangers is sometimes easier than protecting them from people they know. Make sure that you have clear rules in place and go over them often with your child. These rules should include:

  1. You have a boundary radius in public places such as your child not being able to go past the end of the cart in the grocery store.
  2. You child knows never to go with anyone unless it is previously discussed with you, period.
  3. Have hourly check-ins when your child is playing with friends or outside. If your child is old enough to have a phone, tell them to text you each hour. Make sure he or she knows not to tell anyone about this policy.
  4. Discuss the uniforms of workers and law enforcement when visiting a busy area or store.

4. Code Word Plan

This one is important because it helps protect your children from all predators. The concept is simple. Create a code word with your child and help them memorize it. They then do not leave school, daycare, the bus stop, or anywhere else with someone who does not know the code word. This rules needs to apply to friends, family, and strangers. Also, make sure that your child knows to never tell anyone the code word. If you want someone to know it then you will tell them. This helps protect your child from unknown threats that may also be within your social circle.


You never want to believe that being abducted could happen to your child. Keep your child safe from the new stranger danger with these tips.

You never want to believe that something like being abducted could happen to your child. You tell yourself things like, “That only happens to other people” or “We don’t see that stuff in our neighborhood”. The harsh reality is that it can happen to anyone, anywhere. Following the steps above will keep your child safer and that is all any parent wants. You can also find out how to make this DIY Emergency Lanyard to keep your child safe on vacations. It is always better to educate before it is too late.

See where I’m linking up!

P.S. Get Free VIP Access to Our Library of Resources!
Free printables and tutorials to make the most of your DIY lifestyle!

We always respect your privacy.

I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
  • Thank you so much, Ruthie! I absolutely agree with you. I can’t understand why parents would even take the chance in letting their children wander in stores and parks. It only takes a moment for something to happen.

  • Ruthie Gray

    Marie, these are great tips. Child abduction is a real threat in this day and age. I remember very clearly making sure my children knew not to go out of my sight or just wander in public places. I don’t understand parents who let their children do that! Thanks for these great tips – tweeted and pinned!

    Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Talk!

  • Arianne Plehandzic

    I made lanyards fo my kids for Disney World and it made me feel so much better! Thanks for joining #seasonalbloghopjoy

    • Oh, yes. The crowds at Disney can get crazy. That was very smart! (Even just the piece of mind it gives you is well worth it.)

  • It is important to talk to our kids about strangers. We talk about this often in our home. Thank you for joining the Family Joy Link Party.

    • I’m so glad you are having this talk often! So, so important. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  • Melinda Mitchell

    Perfect!! I need to work with my 3 y o grand on these rules. Never too early to be safe!
    Inspire Me Monday

    • Agreed! Never too early. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Alicia Owen

    Good tips for any caregiver! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • hzajac13

    Thanks for this article. I wish I could forward it to my mother-in-law without it being a bit too obvious. She is way to lenient with my child in the stores.