Learning About Stranger Danger

The tragic abduction and murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway while walking to school in her Westminster neighborhood has struck fear into the heart of parents all over the country, and particularly in the Denver metro area. Short of barring our children from going out of doors, what can we do to keep them safe and healthy when they are out of our immediate sight?

Sharing books on topics like personal safety, stranger danger, and street smarts is a gentle but effective way of educating and informing children about these essential facts. Authors of these books are especially careful to impart information in a matter-of-fact manner that does not frighten children, but rather gives them the necessary tools they need to keep themselves safe and protected from harm.

The library offers picture books and nonfiction titles both, and in the last week, they have been flying off of our shelves. This is a testament to the power these books have to help families teach their children how to stay safe.

Picture books are excellent for the youngest children, since they entertain while educating.
- The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- Once Upon A Dragon: Stranger Safety for Kids by Jean Pendziwol
- Ashley Learns About Strangers by Sarah, Duchess of York

Nonfiction titles are great for children in elementary school. They will have more information than picture books, and can be excellent starting points for launching discussions between you and your child.
- Stranger Danger by Cynthia MacGregor
- Street Smarts by Peggy Pancella
- Stranger Danger by Peggy Pancella
- Safety in Your Neighborhood by Lucia Raatma
- Safety Around Strangers by Lucia Raatma
- What Should I Do if a Stranger Comes Near? by Wil Mara

A good DVD to try is one that features favorite childhood characters.
- Too Smart for Strangers With Winnie the Pooh, and Pooh's Great School Bus Adventure

Written by Gigi on October 11, 2012



Thanks, Gigi. I know many parents are looking for ways to have these conversations with their kids.


Thanks for your comment, Stacey. It's always my pleasure to provide information on resources that can make a difference in the lives of families and children.

Lisa on October 12, 2012


Great blog, Gigi. I didn't realize the library had so many resources on this subject.


Thanks, Lisa. Yes, we have a nice selection of books to help foster these difficult but necessary conversations between parents and children.

Anonymous on October 12, 2012


Thank you for providing the list of resources.

Marie on October 13, 2012


Thanks so much for this information! But it's worth remembering that the vast majority of abuse and abductions come from people whom the children KNOW. So focusing on strangers isn't the whole story. Parents should also focus on teaching children about acceptable and unacceptable behavior from ALL adults -- even ones they know.


You are so right, Marie and I want to thank you for that reminder. I can only imagine that the library can provide materials on that aspect, too.


Thank you both for pointing out this essential aspect of keeping children safe. We do indeed have many resources at the library that help parents address "good touch/bad touch" and other related issues.

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