Staying safe around others

What you can do

Teach your child about stranger danger

It is important to teach your child about keeping safe when out and about. It is vital for them to understand what a stranger is and the dangers that are linked to adults they do not know. From an early age have open discussions with your child about what to do if they are approached by a stranger.

It is also important for your child to know who is a safe stranger. Have these discussions with your child so they understand what to do if they need help.

As a parent it is your decision when you let your child go out alone. There is no law stating a specific age BUT we all want our children to feel as safe as possible.

Tell your child if someone scares them, they feel in danger or tries to touch them in ways that make them feel uncomfortable, to Yell, Run and Tell.

The NSPCC offer some questions you can ask yourself before you make up your mind.

  • where and when do they want to go?
  • what do they want to do there?
  • who's going to be with them?
  • how far away are they going?
  • what time will they be back?
  • how can I get hold of them if I need to?

Talk to your child and make rules together about keeping safe and what they would need to do in an emergency.


Watch out for domestic abuse

Babies, children and young people who see or hear grown-ups arguing can be very upset even if they don’t show it. They can feel scared, lonely and confused. Even very tiny babies can get frightened when they hear loud or cross voices and arguments, and this can affect their health and development.

NSPCC says domestic abuse is “any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship.” Domestic abuse can happen in any relationship and is not only physical violence. It can include emotional, physical, sexual, psychological (how someone thinks and feels), or financial abuse.


Who can help?

Families want their children to have happy and healthy childhoods but sometimes they need more support to do this.

We all have a duty to protect children and this section will help you to access support if you are concerned that a child or young person is at risk of harm.

Report a concern

If you think a child is in immediate danger contact the police on 999.

Contact the Bedfordshire multi-agency safeguarding hub if you have a concern about a child:

Office hours: 01234 718700

Out of hours: 0300 300 8123

Contact the 24 hour domestic abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247

If you’re a child or young person, you can call Childline on 0800 1111 or talk to a Childline advisor online here.


General advice

The NSPCC is a registered charity fighting to end child abuse in the UK. On their website you can find advice on how you can keep children safe, where to go for help, and the latest news stories relating to child safety.

For advice about younger children, parents can text a health visitor on Parentline, 07507 331456.

For children aged 11-19, you can encourage them to text ChatHealth for advice from a school nurse on 07507 331450.


Links and additional information

Reporting a safeguarding concern, Bedford Borough Council

Child protection and safeguarding, Central Bedfordshire Council

Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership

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