boy talking to mom

12 Valuable Kids' Books About Stranger Danger

the berenstain learn about strangers

The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers

 Sister is a very friendly cub who likes to talk to people, and she's been especially chatty with strangers lately. She is eager to talk to anyone and everyone who crosses her path. Then one day she sees a story in the newspaper about cubs who have gone missing. This headline scares her to the point that she views every single bear as a threat. Mama provides reassuring words of wisdom that not everyone is a threat. However, just like apples, some may look good on the outside but be rotten on the inside, and vice versa. Mama and Papa sit down with both cubs and give them very clear rules to follow in order to stay safe around strangers. This very thorough story is suited for kids over the age of 5. It includes a page of bonus stickers and a page with even more material about body privacy.



holding hands


Read Children Books About Not Talking to Strangers

Children are born with an inherent sense of trust in others, especially those lucky enough to be born into loving, safe, secure home environments. There comes a time, however, when parents need to teach their kids about not talking to or otherwise interacting with strangers. It's a delicate balancing act between encouraging your children to be social and trusting while also discerning and skeptical. Consider sharing stories about good touch bad touch to teach them about physical boundaries and how to identify someone who is potentially a threat to their safety.An excellent idea is to read picture books about characters who learn some important lessons. There are many different scenarios presented with lots of helpful tips on how to navigate some of the more confusing interactions with unfamiliar people. All of these books will help to open a conversation with your kiddos about this very scary but important issue.


your body belongs to you

Your Body Belongs to You

Little kids are often told to listen to grown-ups. And while this type of guidance applies to a lot of situations, sometimes it is not the right things to do. In this story, which is a great introductory book for preschoolers about body boundaries, readers learn that it's okay to say no. While the book briefly touches upon private parts, the gist of the lesson is that kids should never have to come in physical contact with anyone unless it's their choice. This applies even to an embrace from a visiting family member or friendly neighbor. Easy-to-follow and very direct text effectively gets the point across to even the youngest of readers.




what if a stranger approaches you

What If a Stranger Approaches You?

Several very realistic scenarios are presented, along with prudent advice for how to handle them. Lots of these situations may seem confusing in real life, like when a seemingly nice person approaches a child and even knows his or her name. This person may not look threatening to a little kid, no matter how many times parents and teachers have talked about stranger danger. Kids will remember each of the situations described in this book in the unfortunate event they have to handle a potentially dangerous situation on their own.



i can play it safe 

I Can Play It Safe

Lots of important things are covered for kids to safely navigate all of the various situations they encounter. There are some fun analogies interwoven throughout the messaging that helps to keep things less threatening and not so scary. For instance, just like airplanes need to check in with the control towers, kids needs to talk to the trusted adults in their lives. Little readers also learn about good touch/bad touch as well as helpful/harmful secrets and so much more.




i won't go with strangers

I Won't Go With Strangers

One rainy, cold day, Lu is patiently waiting on the sidewalk for a ride home. Her mother gave her very specific instructions about who was picking her up, but it sure is taking a long time. A slew of well-meaning, somewhat familiar people offer to drive Lu in their warm, dry cars. Lu contemplates accepting the offer from each of these individuals, but she smartly declines. Although everyone seems nice, she doesn't know them well enough to get in their cars. A really good message about teaching your kids remain firm in their stance, even when in the presence of adults who are not complete strangers.




teach your dragon about stranger danger 

Teach Your Dragon About Stranger Danger

A pet dragon can be a fun companion, best friend, and pretty useful. After all, he can start a campfire and light candles on a cake when matches are nowhere to be found. But responsible dragon-owners have to teach their pets to stay away from strangers. The friendly fiery-breathing guy in this story is always eager to talk to new people. He also woudn't mind hopping in cars or accepting toys and treats from others, even if he has never met them before. Fortunately, his boy knows just what to do! Just like he trained the little dragon to sit and stay, he shows him how to behave around strangers.




never talk to strangers

Never Talk to Strangers

 A Golden Book originally published in the 1960s is just as relevant today. A quirky rhyme, reminiscent of Shel Silverstein, describes all kinds of situations kids may encounter strangers. Someone might stop by when out by the mailbox or approach a little one at the park. When these instances occur, readers are reminded never to talk to strangers. For emphasis, the strangers in this story are always large, imposing animals, like bears and rhinos. The retro-style illustrations add a special appeal to this book that has stood the test of time.




once upon a dragon stranger safety for kids

Once Upon a Dragon: Stranger Safety for Kids

A clever spin on the stranger safety genre of picture books. Rather than presenting the information in an instructional manner, this story takes kids on an adventurous journey in fairytale lane. A girl and her dragon tumble down a sliding board and drop into a world filled with characters like Red Riding Hood and Snow White. There they bump into looming figures who threaten their wellbeing. Through lots of twists and turns, the friends learn a few lesson and come out more knowledgeable and prepared than ever before.




say no and go stranger safety

Say No and Go: Stranger Safety

Children are taught the power of the word "no" in this story that delivers a concise and straightforward message. A little girl's mother left for the hospital to deliver a baby sibling. Her absence raises all kinds of questions for the older sister about how to stay safe while she is gone. Some of the tips include not answering the phone or door, calling 911 if in trouble, and not engaging in online chat groups or discussions. Lots of relevant information especially for kids who are approaching an age where they can stay home alone. 



not everyone is nice

Not Everyone Is Nice

 Unlike most books about strangers, this story actually presents a scary situation in which the child makes the wrong decision. As she's waiting for her mom to pick her up after school, a really nice man pulls up and offers to drive her home. He indicates that her mother is likely ill or injured, and thus unable to come get her. She agrees to get into his car, but fortunately her mother arrives just in the nick of time. The stranger speeds away, leaving the girl feeling confused about his intentions. On the way back to their house, the girl's mother shares some helpful analogies about how things that seem harmless can actually be very dangerous.




who's bad and who's good little red riding hood

Who's Bad and Who's Good, Little Red Riding Hood?

An excellent title to round out your child's reading material about not talking to strangers. Using a little creativity, the author retells the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale. The little girl encounters two unfamiliar animals on her journey to visit her grandmother. One sinister-looking wolf is very obviously dangerous. The other white, fluffy bunny rabbit looks pretty cute and harmless. The dilemma for this red-caped gal is that both beings are strangers. Is there really any way to know if one is safer than the other? An excellent book that will foster a conversation with your own little ones about staying away from dangerous people and situations.



this is how we stay safe

This Is How We Stay Safe

This is a great safety guide for kids that manages to keep things light while addressing some pretty serious stuff. There is a whole lot of material covered, so this is one that is worth reading over and over again. Little tots will be reminded to always wear seatbelts, to look both ways before crossing a street, and to know who they can trust with problems. They will also learn how to behave when approached by strangers, along with pointers on how to seek safety when in uncomfortable situations. Bright pictures and pops of humor keep the tone airy. 

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father and son


How to Talk to Your Child About Stranger Danger

A parent's worst nightmare is the thought that a stranger could cause harm to a child. Unfortunately, this is a very realistic fear that comes to fruition all too often. For this reason, it is of upmost importance to talk to your children from a very young age about all the ways to stay safe. As much as you would like to be their guardian angels, there will be many times when you are not their to protect them. These situations could be only momentary, like when your back is turned in a store. Or, they could be for extended periods of time when you leave your children in the care of a neighbor, friend, or babysitter.

Here are some key pointers to talk to your children about starting right now:

  • Define strangers in concrete terms. This is by far the most important tip. There are some very obvious strangers that children may easily identify, like a passerby on the street, playground, or store. But don't forget to talk about strangers that appear in familiar, comfortable settings. These are the people who are more difficult for kids to identify as a potential threat. For example, a child could be at a friend's house for a sleepover when a neighbor, relative, or someone else is visiting. While you don't necessarily want to raise your child to believe that everyone is dangerous, you do at least need to help them understand some of these grey areas.
  • Give very specific scenarios where a child could be vulnerable. Again, it's important to be very clear and concise about all the different places where are child needs to be weary of his or her surroundings. Reinforce the importance of not straying from a caretaker when out in public places where there are a lot of people like baseball parks, malls, amusement parks, and other large venues Cater the conversation to include all the places you take your child so they can relate to what you are saying.
  • Provide examples of what a child can do when in a potentially dangerous situation. No matter how carefully or responsibly your child behaves, he or she will inevitably be in a pickle from time to time. This is just life. However, by giving your kiddo detailed advice on how to navigate these situations, adverse consequences can be mitigated or avoided altogether. For example, if your children get separated in a store or other public venue, make sure they know to seek help from an employee rather than a regular person walking around. This is one of those situations where kids need to differentiate between types of strangers and which ones are probably safest. Another problematic situation is if a child is at a friend's house and is uncomfortable by the behavior of a friend or relative visiting. If this happens, advice your child to fake a stomach ache and call a parent for a ride home. 
mom and child


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