It is never ok for a child to be picked up by a stranger. A complete stranger and even someone they kind of know! There are rules. There are safety procedures. Secret passwords or handshakes help and protect a child. Set one up. Let them pick one out. The kids need to know that they can ask, “What’s the secret word?” If the person doesn’t know it then the children do NOT go. PERIOD, no question. They need to walk or RUN away from the person and seek help from a safe adult. Strangers can simply be people the child doesn’t know well. Kids don't remember everyone.
You may know the person picking the kids up, but do they? If they have met the person once or twice that may not even be enough. Set up a safe security word or secret handshake or whatever communicative method you are comfortable.
Set it for your peace of mind. Set it for their safety.
For my kids, we will set up a new word tonight. This will help ease their minds every time something different happens.
There is no reason to scare the kids, but have them realize that even people they know may not have their best interests at heart.
My kids and I haven’t practiced this enough. They are not little anymore, but that is no reason NOT to protect them.
It is not ok to pick up an unknown child without a password. Ask for it if you are asked to pick up a child.
p 7 (stats are older but.... scary!)