Tips to protect kids from predators targeting children

Two kid are playing with chalk in front of an SUV. (WTHR staff/Bill Ditton)
Strangers target kids in recent events
How to protect your kids safe

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Police are investigating two separate incidents that certainly have parents paying attention. Here in Indianapolis, three IPS students say a man approached them outside Daniel Webster School 46 and exposed himself. And in the beginning of May, a teen saida man came up to him and offered to pay him for sexual favors in Richmond.

Police already arrested suspects in both cases, but it still has a lot of parents thinking what else they can be doing to prepare their kids in case something like this happens to them?

There are all kinds of little sayings that are used to try to keep kids safe. One is called "Yell and Tell." Another one is known as SMART: Safety Means Always Recognizing Trouble. And of course, there's stranger danger.

Here are some tips you might want to give your kids:

  • If you feel uncomfortable, tell someone.
  • If a car pulls up to you and someone inside tries to talk to you, don't move closer to listen. Stay at a distance. Don't get in the car. And if you feel threatened, run in the opposite direction.
  • If it escalates and someone tries to drag you away, scream, "this is not my dad," or "this is not my mom," or "I don't know you."

Some police departments are encouraging parents not to buy clothes or backpacks with children's names on them. A stranger can clearly see the child's name and use your child's name to gain trust. Kids sometimes believe an adult can't be a stranger if that person knows their name.