Would you know if a strange vehicle was in your neighborhood?
A big part of home and neighborhood safety is being aware of things that happen around you. Being observant is a skill you can learn.
Discuss: As a family, try to name as many vehicles in your neighborhood as possible. Start with your next-door neighbors and work outward from them. Name the color, make, and model of the vehicles.
Discuss: What should you do if you see a strange vehicle in your neighborhood?
Try to note the vehicle’s information. If it’s just driving down the street, that may not be any big deal. However, stay alert. If the driver seems to be slowing near homes, he/she might be looking for a house number, which may mean he/she might be visiting someone in the neighborhood. If the driver seems to be scanning the street looking at people, or trying to speak with children, you should be more alert and it’s best to tell an adult right away. Watch for things that are out of the ordinary.
Discuss: What should you do if you are on the sidewalk and someone in a strange car stops to talk to you? What if he/she has lost a kitten or a puppy and would like you to help find it? What if he says he knows your mom and dad and that they want you to go with him?
Whenever someone in a strange car stops to talk to you when you are on the street, do not approach the car. Stay well back from it and be ready to run away. Even if the person seems nice and is asking you for help to find a lost pet, for example, you must stay well away from them. You can tell them something like “I’m sorry. I am not allowed to go off with strangers.” Then you should run home or to an adult you do know right away and tell them what has happened. Always be aware that the stranger could be telling you a lie. And never get into a stranger’s car.
About the Author
Father of 5 children, husband to 1 amazingly patient woman, entrepreneur, and education advocate.