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Safety Tips for Parents

General Safety Tips for Parents        hands

Provided by SCAN (Stop Child Abuse & Neglect) a program of the National Children's Advocacy Center, Huntsville, Alabama

Provided by the National Children’s Advocacy Center

 5 Tips to Protect Your Child from Sexual Abuse

The following five safety tips from RAINN focus on practical things parents can do to protect children from sexual abuse.

 1. Talk often with your child and set a tone of openness. Talking openly and directly will let your child know that it’s okay to talk to you when they have questions. If your child comes to you with concerns or questions, make time to listen and talk to them.

 2. Teach your child key safety principles. For instance:

3. Empower your child should know that s/he has the right to speak up if they are uncomfortable, or if someone is touching them. It’s okay to say “no” even to adults they know and family members.

 4. Implement Internet safety protocols, and parental controls through platforms such as the Google Family Safety Center. Work with older children to set guidelines for who they can talk to online, and what information can be shared. For instance, be cautious when leaving status or away messages online and when using the "check-in" feature on Facebook or Foursquare.

 5. Educate yourself about the warning signs of childhood sexual abuse. Know what to look for, and the best way to respond.

 Provided by RAINN: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network 

 Child Physical Abuse Prevention Tips

Discipline effectively. Remember that kids will be kids. Children can be loud, unruly and destructive. They will break things, interrupt telephone conversations, track mud through the house, not pick up their toys or clean their rooms, struggle over eating their vegetables or pester routinely. Children will inevitably do things that may make their parents feel irritated, frustrated, disappointed and angry. Changing a child’s behavior is not easy. However, children should not be disciplined through violence. It is better to deny children privileges when they do something unacceptable, as well as reward them when they do something good. This teaches children that there are consequences for their actions.

 Regain control. Child abuse is a symptom of having difficulty coping with stressful situations. If you feel you are losing control, ask someone to relieve you for a few minutes. Then try these tips:

Get help. Support is available for families at risk of abuse through local child protection services agencies, community centers, churches, physicians, mental health facilities and schools.

 Exerpt from information provided by the American Humane Association:

 If you feel that you are in the midst of a crisis, call the Behavioral Health Response Hotline at 314-469-6644 or 800-811-4760 (for residents of Eastern Missouri counties) or 911.

Internet Safety Tips for Parents and Caretakers

Adapted from information provided by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Provided by the National Children’s Advocacy Center


 Physical and Behavioral Indicators of Abuse

Physical Abuse

 Unexplained bruises (in various stages of healing)

Unexplained burns, especially cigarette burns or immersion burns

Unexplained fractures, lacerations or abrasions

Swollen areas

Evidence of delayed or inappropriate treatment for injuries

Self destructive

Withdrawn and/or aggressive - behavioral extremes

Arrives at school early or stays late as if afraid to be at home

Chronic runaway (adolescents)

Complains of soreness or moves uncomfortably

Wears clothing inappropriate to weather, to cover body

Bizarre explanation of injuries

Wary of adult contact


Physical Neglect


Unattended medical needs

Consistent lack of supervision

Consistent hunger, inappropriate dress, poor hygiene

Lice, distended stomach, emaciated

Inadequate nutrition

Regularly displays fatigue or listlessness, falls asleep in class

Steals food, begs from classmates

Reports that no caretaker is at home

Frequently absent or tardy

Self destructive

School dropout (adolescents)

Extreme loneliness and need for affection


Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse may be non-touching: obscene language, pornography, exposure – or touching: fondling, molesting, oral sex, intercourse

Torn, stained or bloody underclothing

Pain, swelling or itching in genital area

Difficulty walking or sitting

Bruises or bleeding in genital area

Venereal disease

Frequent urinary or yeast infections

Excessive seductiveness

Role reversal, overly concerned for siblings

Massive weight change

Suicide attempts (especially adolescents)

Inappropriate sex play or premature understanding of sex

Threatened by physical contact, closeness


Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse may be name-calling, insults, put-downs, etc., or it may be terrorization, isolation, humiliation, rejection, corruption, ignoring

Speech disorders

Delayed physical development

Substance abuse

Ulcers, asthma, severe allergies

Habit disorder (sucking, rocking, biting)

Antisocial, destructive

Neurotic traits (sleep disorders, inhibition of play)

Passive and aggressive - behavioral extremes

Delinquent behavior (especially adolescents)

Developmentally delayed

Adapted from the Educator’s Resource Manual on Child Abuse, 3rd Edition.

Provided by the National Children’s Advocacy Center


For information on:


Bullying – Tips for Parents:



Girls and Bullying:

Teaching Kids about Bullying:


Conflict Resolution:

Talking to Youth after a Disaster or Traumatic Event:

What to do if your Child Discloses Sexual Abuse:

Media Reviews with Family Discussion Starters:

Community Safety:

Gang Violence and Prevention:

Neighborhood Safety:

School Safety:


7 Media-Savvy Skills for Parents:

A Parent’s Guide to Facebook:

Cell Phone Safety Tips:

Comprehensive Directory of Online Safety Resources:

Family Contract for Online Safety:

How to Check your Computer’s History:

Internet safety, computers, and the internet:;;

Text and IM Acronyms:

Tips for Strong, Secure Passwords:

Twitter 101: