8 Essential Body Safety Rules to Keep Your Child Safe
As they say, knowledge is power, right?
And as parents, we teach our children about water safety and road safety- we make sure they wear their life vests or puddle jumpers, that they know they must hold our hand and look both ways before crossing the street and to never touch a hot stove.
But are we taking the time to incorporate body safety into our parenting conversations? I understand, it's an intimidating topic to discuss. What should I say? How should I say it? I can't even imagine anything bad happening to my child-- it's too scary to think about, etc. But avoiding it won't do anyone any good. Keeping an open line of communication can make a difference in a child's life.
The following body safety skills can be taught throughout your child's life and can be included in daily conversations.
1. Teach your children the proper names of their body parts.
As soon as your child begins to talk, name each body part correctly including the genitals, i.e. penis, vagina, vulva, buttocks, breasts and nipples. Explain to your child that their 'private parts' are under their bathing suit. Note: a child's mouth is also known as a "private zone". Avoid the use of 'pet names' to describe the genitals. This way, if a child is touched inappropriately, they can clearly state where they were touched.
2. Make sure there is a clear understanding of the word 'private'.
Explain the terms 'private' and 'public', i.e. 'private' means just for you. Talk about a toilet being a private place but a kitchen, for example, is a public space because it is shared. Relate these terms to both spaces and body parts.
3. Explain to your child who they should talk to if they feel unsafe.
Teach your child that nobody has the right to touch or ask to see your private parts, and if someone does, they must tell a trusted adult straightaway. Teach your child that if someone (i.e. the perpetrator) asks them to touch their own private parts, shows their private parts to the child or shows them images of private parts that this is wrong also.
As your child becomes older (3+) help them to identify three to five trusted adults they could tell anything to and they would be believed. These people are part of their Safety Network. Note: at least one person should not be a family member.
4. Talk to your child about all different types of feelings.
At the same time as you are discussing inappropriate touch, talk about feelings. Discuss what it feels like to be happy, sad, angry, etc. Encouraging your child with daily activities to talk about their feelings, e.g. 'I felt really sad when ... pushed me over.' This way your child will be more able to verbalize how they are feeling if someone does touch them inappropriately.
5. Make sure they have a clear understanding of 'safe' vs. 'unsafe'.
Talk with your child about feeling 'safe' and 'unsafe'. Discuss times when your child might feel 'unsafe', e.g. being pushed down a steep slide; or 'safe', e.g. snuggled up on the couch reading a book with you. It is important that children understand the different emotions that come with feeling 'safe' or 'unsafe'.
6. Discuss what it feels like to feel unsafe.
Discuss your child's Early Warning Signs when they feel unsafe, e.g. heart racing, feeling sick in the tummy, sweaty palms, etc. Let them come up with some ideas of their own. Tell your child that they must tell you or a person on their Safety Network if any of their Early Warning Signs occur. Reinforce that you will always believe them and that they can tell you anything.
7. Discourage secret keeping.
Talk about 'happy surprises' instead such as not telling Granny about her surprise birthday party. Compare this with 'unsafe' secrets such as someone touching their private parts. Make sure your child knows that if someone does ask them to keep an unsafe secret that they must tell someone on their Safety Network straightaway.
8. Empower your child to speak up if something does not feel right.
Discuss with your child when it is appropriate for someone to touch their private parts, e.g. a doctor when they are sick (but making sure they know you must be in the room). Explain that if someone does touch their private parts (without you there) that they have the right to say, 'No!' or 'Stop!' and outstretch their arm or hand.
Reinforce to your child that they are the 'boss of their body' and they do not have to kiss or hug a person if they don't want to. Explain that we all have a 'body boundary'. This is an invisible space that surrounds our body, and that no one can enter another person's body boundary unless they allow it.
We are excited to announce that funding is available for Family Strengthening mini-grant proposals for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Mini-grants will be awarded up to $2,000. Funding is provided by the Amador Child Abuse Prevention Council (ACAPC).
Grants are available for qualified organizations and agencies to provide Family Strengthening programs within the County of Amador.
Family Strengthening is the premise that children do well when families do well, and that families do well when they live in supportive communities. Enhancing connections within families, and between families, and the institutions that affect them, result in better outcomes for children and their families.
Mini-Grant applications may be submitted to ACAPC at any time throughout the 2018-19 fiscal year, however grant reviews and awards will occur bi-monthly.
Join us each month as we discover new books related to
ACEs, Trauma-Informed Care and Resiliency.
This month, we are sharing the book Trauma-Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators: Relationship-Based Approaches that Support Healing and Build Resilience in Young Children by Julie Nicholson, Linda Perez, Julie Kurtz
This book is great for educators and child care providers who work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary school level children. It shows how trauma makes an impact on a child's brain, learning, development and behavior. This book gives a variety of trauma-informed teaching and strategies to better understand and help young children as well as to strengthen their health, healing and resiliency.
We hope you'll share your thoughts and comments about this book with us. You can send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our Facebook page and leave a comment for us, HERE.
Amador Fire Car Seat Check
AFPD is excited to announce that we are now offering free car seat checkups.
Make an appointment to come by our office to see if your child's car seat and/or booster seat is properly installed, correct for your child's height, weight and used to its full ability.
Our Community Risk Reduction Specialist is a Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and is booking appointments NOW.
Click HERE for a full list of current events in Amador County.
Free Mandated Reporter Training
The second Thursday of every month, from 10:00 - 11:30 am,
the Child Abuse Prevention Council is holding free mandated reporter trainings. Open to parents, teachers, the community, staff or colleagues needing a refresher course, or new staff with no previous training, give
us a call, (209) 223-5921. For the flyer with all the information, click HERE.
We've got so many great things going on next month. Grab your pinwheels, get your blue on, and get ready!
We all play a role in supporting families and keeping our children save, healthy, and loved!
Would you like to make a difference in the lives of children?
You can support the Child Abuse Prevention Councils efforts to keep our kids safe!
Print out the form HERE, and send it in with your donation today.
All children know how they are valued; all families receive the support, education and tools necessary to give every child a safe, healthy, and nurturing home; and a community that actively supports the health, safety, and education of its children.
CAPC is committed to preventing all forms of child abuse in Amador County through community partnerships, free trainings, education, and family-centered events that value children, strengthen families, and engage communities.
Investing in Our Youngest Children
Stay up to date on all the latest news and information for the youngest children in our county! Sign up for First 5 Amador's monthly e-newsletter HERE!
Amador Community Resources
For a wallet sized version for yourself, your organization/agency, or your place of work, give us a call - (209) 223-5921 (click HERE to print).
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