Talking to Children About Body Safety
- Talking about Body Safety is not a one-time conversation. Just as you would discuss other safety rules it’s just as important to discuss body safety regularly.
- Help children identify 3 safe adults in their life. Children need a network of safe adults whom they can talk to if they are feeling uncomfortable, worried, or scared.
- Educate children about private parts. Explain that private parts are those that are covered by their swimsuit, and it is not ok for someone to touch, look at, or take photos of their private parts. It is also not ok for someone to ask children to touch their private parts.
- Teach children the correct anatomical names for all body parts. Teaching children the correct names for their body parts reduces confusion, embarrassment, and shame.
- Teach children that they are the boss of their bodies. Every child has the right to tell anyone no and refuse unwanted or uncomfortable affection. A child should never be forced to hug, give affection, or sit on a lap.
- Teach the difference between surprises and secrets. Let them know that surprises can be fun and make people happy, like giving a present to someone special. Secrets, on the other hand, can be hurtful. Children should know that adults do not ask children to keep secrets and the child should tell someone right away.
- Teach kids that adults should not ask kids for help. People may trick a child by asking them to help find a lost pet, give directions, or help carry something. Children should not agree to do something for an adult without first speaking with a parent/caregiver.
To download these tips, click here.
Body Safety Books
- ABC’s of Body Safety and Consent, author Jayneen Sanders
- Miles is the Boss of His Body, author Samantha Kurtzman-Countger & Abbie Scholler
- My Body Belongs to Me, author Jill Starishevsky
- My Body is Private, author Linda Walvoored Girard
- My Body is Special and Private, author Adrianne Simeone
- No Means No, author Jayneen Sanders
- No More Bad Secrets, author Daisy Coipelin
- Some Parts are Not for Sharing, author Julie K. Federico (English and Spanish)
- Some Secrets Should Never be Kept, author Jayneen Sanders (English and Spanish)
- Talk about Touch, author Sandy Kleven
- Your Body Belongs to You, author Cornelia Maude Spelman