A Hampton Wick mum is considering getting kids’ clothes that say ‘Don’t touch - my mum bites’ due to strangers stroking her children's hair and faces on buses.

Karen Ovenden frequently uses the number 285 and 281 buses and said some people “can’t seem to refrain themselves” from ruffling the hair or stroking the cheeks of her children.

After posting about the issue in a Facebook group, she discovered other parents have the same problem.

She said: “You just never know when it’s going to happen.

“The boys worry when they get on the bus that somebody is going to touch them, ‘They say, nobody is going to touch me are they mummy?’

“If it just happened once I would probably have let it go. Some people defend themselves. They have always got a different excuse.

“It doesn’t matter how I approach them, they say ‘Oh I’m just being friendly’. It doesn’t matter what the intention is. I know the children don’t like being touched by strangers.”

Karen doesn't mind people saying 'hello' or smiling at her family but thinks the physical contact is a step too far.

She has even researched where she can buy clothes bearing the slogan 'Don't Touch - my mum bites' to try and deter people from being too familiar.

Karen said the people that do it tend to be older. One day, she asked a lady who couldn’t keep her hands to herself if she’d like the same treatment.

“I asked her if she wanted me to touch her and she said no, so I ruffled her hair,” she said.

Karen's twin sons are three and a half and often are at the receiving end of the petting from strangers, which makes Karen wonder if it's because of their afros.

Her baby girl, 10 months, has been touched too. Recently, a lady reached into the pram to stroke her hand and cheek.

“It really is something that is happening to us so regularly that I dread using the buses,” said Karen.

In a statement, TfL said this type of behaviour - unwanted touching - was against their conditions of carriage. 

Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers Regulations 1990 (as amended in 2002) states: 

6—(1) No passenger on a vehicle shall–

(b) put at risk or unreasonably impede or cause discomfort to any person travelling on or entering or leaving the vehicle, or a driver, inspector, conductor or employee of the operator when doing his work on the vehicle.

A TfL spokesman said: “Our passengers have the right to travel safely and securely.

"If someone has targeted you, made you feel uncomfortable or you see someone acting inappropriately, tell the police or a member of staff immediately.”

Incidents like these can be reported via texting 61016.