More than 17,000 children at more than 80 schools and organizations have benefited from the life skills learned through the Stranger Safety Program provided by the Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, N.Y.
Aimed at children ages 4 to 9, the program uses puppets to make children aware of the dangers posed by strangersbut in a fun way, says Georgeine Bellando, community health educator at the 537-bed facility.
You dont want to scare your children, but you have to put a sense of being a little more protective of themselves, she says. Its hard. Children, its their nature to be friendly. But you want to make a point. And I think this program does it.