National Safeguarding Unit (NSU) - Safe Activities For Everyone

How can I keep my child safe?  

Things you can talk about with your child:

  • your child has the right to be safe - reassure your child that they will not be punished if they say they feel unsafe or threatened in any way by any person (including family members)
  • the truth will always be believed - encourage your child to tell you if anything is making them feel uncomfortable, confused or scared (children rarely lie about abuse)
  • their body is their own - talk to your child about the areas that should be covered (swimsuit areas) and encourage them to tell you if anyone tries to go beyond these boundaries
  • say 'no' - children often think they have to do whatever an adult tells them to, particularly if they have been made to hug or kiss adults when they don't want to
  • some secrets should never be kept - since abusers and bullies often say “it's our secret” or even threaten the safety of other family members, tell your child that secrets like that should never be kept
  • reassure your child that no harm will come to them or their loved ones if they tell the truth about abuse
  • if a stranger tries to talk to your child, tell your child to pretend not to hear them and go to you immediately

These two last tips cover all sorts of situations:

  • tell your child it is okay to break the rules if they are in danger - encourage your child to yell, kick, scream, lie or run away if they feel they are in danger
  • have a code word or sign that only your child and you (and another parent/carer) know - if your child needs to be collected, they can give that person the code

Further information and advice on all the points above can be found at the Kidscape website

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