Tips for Protecting Your Children
- Familiarize yourself with the policies and practices of organizations where your children spend time.
- Confirm background checks are conducted on all employees and volunteers.
- Ensure policies are in place that prohibit situations where an adult can be alone with your child in one room when no one else is around.
- Make sure they actually follow these policies – ask your child, stop by, check in, be aware.
- TALK to your child. Talking about personal safety is an on-going dialogue, not a single event.
- Teach your children appropriate names for their body parts.
- Start Early and Talk Often about child sexual abuse.
- Use everyday situations to keep the conversations about personal safety ongoing.
Protect Your Child on the Internet
- Learn about the websites your children use regularly. Visit websites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and others. See what other kids are doing there and how much information you can learn by doing simple searches.
- Parents need to be aware of what is happening on-line.
- Learn as much as you can about the issues of Internet Safety (look under our Tools & Resources section for websites to help with this).
- Keep computers in common rooms of the house. Many children have laptops and computers in their bedrooms, allowing them many opportunities to spend hours on-line, potentially engaging in inappropriate behavior.
- Set the rules about internet safety and your values early on. Teach young children that they should not seek our relationships from on-line friends and that they should NEVER meet on-line friends in the real world.
- Make any topic of conversation an acceptable topic of conversation. Many teens and pre-teens seek out adult relationships on-line. Ensure that your child has a support system in the real world.
Be vigilant and ASK questions!
- Watch for changes in your child’s behavior. If your child is reluctant about going to certain places or with certain people, ask questions.
- Notice their behavior before and after spending time alone with an adult.
- Pass it on. Educate yourself. Educate your community.
- Parents are our greatest resource. You have the power to make change happen in your neighborhood, at local schools and within child-serving organizations.
- Keep learning. Take the time to learn about the latest findings in the field of child abuse. Your knowledge protects all children.
- Connect us to the need in your community. If you know of an organization that needs education about child abuse, tell them about our education programs and encourage them to schedule a speaker.
- Talk openly with your neighbors, your friends and your families about the issues of child safety and the organizations who seek to help them.
- Share this video with any adult who has children or who works with children.