How to Protect Your Child

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Take the time to talk to your child.

  • Be calm and confident before discussing this topic with your child.
  • Do not scare your child; your tone should be neutral, educational and empowering.
  • Let your child know that you are always there for him/her and always want to protect him/her.
  • Teach your child that the parts of their body that a bathing suit covers are private parts and that no one is allowed to see or touch them there.
  • Allow time for your child to process and to ask you questions.
  • Have your child identify 5 safe people they can talk to if someone ever makes them uncomfortable.
  • Make talking to your child about personal safety an ongoing dialogue rather than a single conversation.
  • It’s important not to interrogate children. Ask simple, open-ended questions in a calm manner: "Has anyone ever made you feel uncomfortable or scared? Has anyone ever asked you to keep a secret?"

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.
  • Talk to your child to find out if the policies are being followed when you are not there. 
  • Require all staff and volunteers to be trained annually on child safety and on how to make a report. 

Be vigilant and ASK questions!

  • Watch for changes in your child’s behavior. If your child is reluctant to go certain places or to be with certain people, ask questions.
  • Notice their behavior before and after spending time alone with an adult. 

If a child does reveal something concerning, believe the child. Reassure him/her that he/she has done the right thing in telling you and that what happened is absolutely not their fault. Call CPS (800) 252-5400 or local law enforcement to report your concerns.

Please do not interview children or contact the alleged offender—report your suspicions and let the appropriate authorities investigate.