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Stranger Danger: How These Kids Failed

Crossing the Street
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Do you think your kid knows better than to talk to strangers?

Recently, HLN did an experiment: They got agreements with 20 kids' moms to see if their kid would go away with a man who had a puppy, and over a third of the kids went with the man.

The way it worked was every mom talked to their child before the experiment, warning him or her against talking to strangers, and especially warning against going away with strangers. Then the kids went to play, where just a bit later, a man appeared with his adorable puppy. The kids would rush to play with the puppy, and the man would chat a little, saying, “I need to go give him some water. Do y’all want to come with me and help me feed him and give him some water?”

Seven of those 20 kids actually agreed to go with the man and his puppy, saying that they wanted to feed it and play with it, and went into his car in the parking lot. Frighteningly, one kid was even convinced by the man to crawl into the dog's crate. Of course, none of these kids were taken away, but the moms were still terrified.

“We talked about strangers and he knows not to talk with strangers or go with them,” one mom said. “We didn’t speak about strangers with pets … I’m thinking we need to go over some more scenarios and just let him know it’s not OK.”

Thankfully, most of the kids—13 of the 20—simply refused to talk to the man and ran away. Some even ran to their moms, who were watching on the sidelines.

Do your kids know better? Check HLN's tips here, or see some Stranger Danger games you can practice with your kids here.

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