Keeping Kids Safe

Parents want to ensure their children are happy, healthy and safe. Here are some tips about how to talk to your children about safety, messages you can give to increase positive feelings and suggestions for teaching children about healthy touch.

Increase positive feelings

Let your child know that they are a great kid!

Communicate these messages regularly and you’ll help your child build self-esteem and feel good about themselves.

I like you.

I love you.

What you have to say is important.

It is important to say how you feel.

Listening to what others have to say is important too.

When you make choices, think of other people’s feelings too.

It is important to say how you feel.

You can make good choices.

Tell someone if you need help.

You can say “no” to any touch that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Everyone is special.

All touching can be talked about.

Keep telling until someone helps you.

There are people who can help you.

Other ways to keep kids safe

Be open and honest with your child

Parents sometimes wonder how much is too much when teaching children about safety. It’s important to be honest and open and give truthful answers to questions they may ask.

Trust your children

Children need to feel adults trust them. Sometimes this means letting them make their own mistakes – so they can learn from them. Helping them make good, safe choices, and to respect themselves and others is one of the most effective ways to keep them safe.

Talk with your children about touch

Teach your children that there are different kinds of touch and sometimes people touch children in ways that are not okay. Let them know that if they feel uncomfortable, it’s okay to tell you or another trusted adult. Make sure they understand touching should never be kept secret and all touching can be talked about. Teach them they have a right to say “NO” to any touch that makes them uncomfortable, and in any situation where they are feeling threatened or in danger. Let them know that in these types of situations they don’t have to be polite, and they’re not being rude by saying “no.” And if it’s too scary to say no, that’s okay – tell them to talk to an adult they trust about what happened.

Teach your children how / where to get help

Let your children know they can come to you with any kind of problem. Help them identify other safe adults they can ask for help if they need it (e.g., in an emergency, if frightened or feeling unsafe). Teach them to call 911 and explain that the police are always available to help. Do not use police as a threat when disciplining your child.

As your child gets older give them more information

You know your child best. Take your cues from them and give them as much information as you think they understand. Make sure they understand what you are talking about before you go further. Stopping to ask, “Did that make sense to you?” or “Is that what you wanted to know?” may help ensure the information you’re providing is appropriate for their age and stage of development.

Keep talking to your children

One discussion is usually not enough. Keep the lines of communication open and be sure to listen

If you need help: ASK!

Parents don’t have to have all the answers. If you need help, employ other resources – talk to another parent, your child’s teacher or your doctor.

Practical safety tips


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