The Stranger Danger Test: How will kids react? - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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The Stranger Danger Test: How will kids react?

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FOX5 tested kids in 'stranger danger' situations. (FOX5) FOX5 tested kids in 'stranger danger' situations. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

In 2016, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said it assisted law enforcement and families with more than 20,500 cases of missing children. 465,000 children disappeared were reported missing, including 7,000 in Nevada.

FOX5 wanted to test how safe valley kids are when it comes to strangers. We worked with local families to set up various scenarios to test kids. For the first scenario, we met four-year-old Declan and his mom at the park. Declan's mom knew we were there and she ran to our car. We sat and watched as a FOX5 employee posed as a stranger and approached Declan.

"Have you seen this puppy? His name is Charlie."

Ten seconds later, Declan yelled. "No, you're a stranger!"

Declan's mom watched from afar, beaming with pride.

"Butterflies, I had butterflies, I did not know how he was going to react," Jennifer Paulin said. 

We wanted to see if Declan would tell us about what happened. 

"I said, 'No you're a stranger!' and I went away!" he recounted to his mom. 

Declan passed our test with flying colors, but would other kids? We wanted to know.

In the second scenario, we met Stephanie Badenhop and her five-year-old little girl named Cora. They were playing at a park near their home. When we arrived Stephanie pretended to run home.

That's when our actor approached. 

"I have some candy, do you want some?" It took less than a minute for Cora to follow our FOX5 'stranger.' Cora's mom watched in horror.

"No Cora, no!" she said.

While this experiment may have felt too real for Cora's mom, it likely taught her daughter a valuable lesson.

"What will you do next time?," we asked.

"Go back to my house!" she said.

In the third scenario, we tested how kids would react on their way home from school 

Nine-year-old Jaden, and seven-year-old Ashton were on their way home from the bus stop. We watched with their mom, Amanda Snobel, from a nearby car. Snobel pointed out her kids, then a FOX5 employee pulled up to see how they would react if they were told to get in a car.

"I just spoke to your dad, I'm supposed to take you to his work," our FOX5 employee said. 

For 30 seconds, Jaden and Ashton, stood, unsure exactly what to do. They walked away, then come back.

"She keeps grabbing him, and Ashton keeps going back," Snobel said while watching. 

Ashton moved closer to get in the car, but his big sister Jaden stopped him, grabbed him by the backpack, and began pushing him home.

"They didn't do it!" their mom said happily. "They didn't get in the car!" 

But how easy would it be to knock on a front door and be allowed into a home?

We sent our FOX5 employee to find out. Mom, Misty Martin, told her kids ages 13, 10, and seven that she was running to the store. We sent our FOX5 actor to their door to knock. 

"Hey guys I'm here to fix the water heater."

For a few minutes, there's no activity by the door. The kids then went to a window to ask him why he's there. After saying repeating the water heater story, Dylan said he'd call his mom first. When she didn't answer, he went to the door to let our employee into the home.

"Dylan why did you open the door?" Martin asked. "You guys could have been in real danger."

Dylan said while this situation was scary, he learned a lot.

"Next time I will grab my brothers and sisters and keep them safe," he said. 

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