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I'm looking at the element on the SEF about 'Teaching children to stay safe' and i know we don't do a 'stranger danger' element. I'd like to know what other settings do about teaching 'Stranger danger?'

 

Already we have a 'people who help us' theme every year when we talk about / dress up / role play police stations and the Police in general. I'm interested to know how other settings have moved their children away from "the police catch the bad people' notion that our children all have onto something more meaningful - or perhaps we don't need to?? I don't know

 

I think what I'm looking for is an idea about how to cover "what to do if you don't feel safe" (at home, at any public place). I'm very mindful about not creating fear in these very young children. This might include not only feeling unsafe about a person but also feeling unsafe if you get lost (in a shop for example). As an ex-reception teacher I am familiar with the police visiting the groups etc but I still think that is too hard for nursery aged children. I've considered the 3 little pigs story as a way in but it seems very abstract. Our keeping safe theme will also include aspects of road safety, keeping paths clear, not eating or drinking anything you find around (e.g berries, random liquid bottles etc). We've got an 'Ourselves' theme coming up and I'd like to include some of this in the theme.

 

Do we need to address this in nursery or are they too young?

How can we present the information without creating more problems that we solve (by suggesting that there are dangers that the children hadn't even thought of)

We've also got some children for whom the start in life wasn't ideal and i don't want to open a can of worms that is best left alone

 

We have really supportive parents and if we are going to do 'stranger danger' it will be in collaboration with families, alongside a home - nursery link pack (where we send home ideas / special books etc and get info back in return for key workers to share with individuals)

 

Even as i write this i fell very uneasy about the whole thing!!

 

Thank you in anticipation of your help!

 

pw1

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Hehe - spellchecker?

 

We use books such as 'Come on Daisy' and 'Lost at the Beach' to discuss staying safe with Mummy and Daddy. I've others but feel a bit brain befuddled today, sorry. I'll get back to you after a brew!

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I havent seen any specific 'stranger danger' type thing, but I always cover it with comments like 'we can only kiss people who want to be kissed' and 'if you dont want a hug, you can say so'. This is usually kisses and hugs between the children. But hopefully if they hear it often enough they will egt some sort of message, although at 3 and 4 years of age I'm not sure how effective anything would be if a known adult was saying the opposite for whatever reason. I think allowing children to make decisions and allowing them to say 'no' can be a point to start from.

Could you use a puppet to show good and bad hugs etc. Not a personna dolls necessarily, I think they look scarey.

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When we did our topic on 'people who help' us and talked about the police, they all said they were to catch the badies.

But we had a community police lady visit, and she talked to them about being there to help people if they were lost etc, and about not talking to people they didn't know, even if they offered them sweets. All sorts of things, and the children listened really well and talked about it for days afterwards.

She was really good, and she let them try on her clothes, and climb all over her car, they talked about that lots too :o

 

jackie.

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I think you're right to consider that we don't burden children uneccessarily. I think that by ensuring children have the opportunity to be independent and make choices this begins to protect them. I agree with Rea that this means making sure we support children in respecting their bodies by not kissing/hugging - asking them to kiss and hug others and teaching them to say no when they don't like something. As adults caring for children I think we do lots to protect them against stranger danger without spelling it out to them that that's what we're doing

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I havent seen any specific 'stranger danger' type thing, but I always cover it with comments like 'we can only kiss people who want to be kissed' and 'if you dont want a hug, you can say so'. This is usually kisses and hugs between the children. But hopefully if they hear it often enough they will egt some sort of message, although at 3 and 4 years of age I'm not sure how effective anything would be if a known adult was saying the opposite for whatever reason. I think allowing children to make decisions and allowing them to say 'no' can be a point to start from.

Could you use a puppet to show good and bad hugs etc. Not a personna dolls necessarily, I think they look scarey.

 

 

I agree with Rea, we always reinforce that they have the right to say 'no' if someone is doing something they don't like. Whether it's the harmless hugs and kisses from other children, or name calling etc. Hopefully they will be able to use this strategy outside of the classroom if they need to. I always find 'stranger danger' a tricky topic, because doesn't most danger to children come from people they know, rather than a stranger?

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I've got "Feeling Happy, Feeling Safe" book by Michele Elliott of Kidscape.

 

It's a safety guide for young children, with notes for adults on how to introduce these topics.

 

It covers feeling safe, getting lost, saying no, bullies, someone you don't know, touching and secrets.

 

I've used it for years with the pre-schoolers I childmind, very successfully. I've never had any negative reactions from children or parents to the approaches Michele suggests.

 

Nona

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Guest Jollytots

I heard the greatest yesterday whilst in a card shop. A young mum said to her two year old, Do you want to be taken away by a really nasty horrible man well if you dont stand here you may be. (Great, only hope that there are no female abductors in the area)!!! It seems like we should be educating the parents before worrying about the children !!!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi -

 

We've just been contacted by Child's Eye Media, who have read this discussion and thought you may be interested in their national child safety campaign (Safer strangers, safer buildings), website video and free downloadable code.

 

I've had a look and the video is extremely enjoyable and child friendly, so if you have time why not pop over and view it, and pick up the downloadable safety code. It looks to me like something that could be played in-session to young children, imparting a strong message without being scarey! You can find it here.

 

Here's some information about the campaign, from the organisers:

 

‘Safer strangers, safer buildings’ was devised by a policewoman in order to help young children know what to do if they get lost or feel unsafe. The simple, non- worrying message helps children to identify trustworthy adults it would be safe to ask for help in an emergency, and also the kinds of buildings they can go into, to ask for help. The campaign is endorsed by Kidscape, the Children’s Safety Education Foundation, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, the Association of Chief Police Officers, Dr. Tanya Byron, Sue Palmer and MPs who have signed an Early Day Motion to spread the constructive message of the campaign in their constituencies. Our aim is for the phrase ‘safer strangers, safer buildings’ to replace ‘stranger danger’, which can make children fearful of all adults.
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As a childminder I teach all of the children in my setting that when we are out they must stay where they can see me. (I don't expect them to work out whether I can see them because that is a big step forward from knowing what they can see).

They understand this rule from a very early age and are adept at policing it for each other as well. We talk about always staying where you can see whoever is looking after you in the hope that it will stay in mind on trips with parents etc.

I got some lovely leaflets, cards,stickers and a brilliant storybook from our local crime prevention officer a few years ago. It might be worth seeing if yours has any freebies which might be useful.

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Thank you all for your replies. I have taken note of the suggestions posted and will follow them all up :o

 

Even now I feel more prepared to tackle this issue having gained more knowledge from you all.

 

I did ask the child's mother to research info on net but obviously the Foundation Stage Forum wins again !!

 

dottyp

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