The shocking results of a social experiment carried out by the TODAY Show will highlight the need for more stranger danger awareness.
It’s a frightening reminder of how trusting children can be and real life proof of how how quickly a child can disappear with a complete stranger.
Former Queensland police officer Brett Lee spent 22 years arresting child predators.
For the experiment, he filled his pockets with chocolates and toys and headed to a nearby park to test how children would react to a stranger.
“It’s low probability but high consequence, so it’s something we always have to be very vigilant about knowing that it is possible,” he told the TODAY Show.
In the experiment, Brett approached 8 children and offered them chocolate. All but one of the kids took something.
In the experiment, Brett approached the children and told them he needed help to find a lost puppy.
Their response was frightening – seven of the eight children walked off with Brett, out of the sight of their parents.
Mothers witnessing the experiment were horrified.
Police say parents should start stranger danger talks as soon as they can understand the meaning of good and bad.
Former officer Brett Lee recommends not using the word ‘stranger’ – instead talking to your children about ‘trusted’ and ‘non-trusted’ people.
“It’s very easy to explain a trusted adult and that is someone who is in our life that we know and feel comfortable with. Everyone else becomes a non trusted person,” he told the TODAY Show.
“Teach you children to only take gifts or leave a place with a ‘trusted’ person. If they’re approached by anyone else, the rule is to run straight to mum or dad and tell them,” he said.
It is concerning that many childcare centres and schools have stopped sharing the stranger danger message for fear of frightening young children.
Do you teach your children about stranger danger?
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