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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Five Halloween Safety Tips

As you gear up for Halloween, remember that child sexual abuse is usually committed by someone the child knows and trusts – not by a stranger. Thus Halloween is yet another opportunity to invite other parents and caregivers onto your prevention team and a good time to reinforce your child’s body-safety rules.

Here are five quick tips:

Halloween Tips
  1. For older kids, find out exactly with whom they are going out trick-or-treating and stay in close communication via text or voice, with an agreed upon arrival time back home.
  2. If your child is going to a Halloween party, find out who is supervising, and discuss your child’s body-safety rules with those adults.
  3. Accompany younger children and children of mixed ages on the trick-or-treat route. Walk younger children to the door.
  4. Review your child’s body-safety rules.
  5. Remind children that you are available to come pick up them up and that you will never be mad if your child breaks a body-safety rule.
Have a fun safe Halloween!

Inviting School and Daycare Administrators onto Your Prevention Team

Woman on Phone with Administrator
Your children have been back at school and/or day care for a couple of months now. If you have not already done so, this is a great time to speak to school personnel about how they are keeping your child safe.

If you ask just one question, this is what I recommend:

What policies are in place to prevent child sexual abuse?

Look for policies that address:

  • Adults spending time alone with children (2 adults to 1 child).
  • Appropriate and inappropriate touch of children by adults.
  • Appropriate and inappropriate touch of children by other children.
  • Diapering, toileting, showering, and changing clothes.
In-home daycare providers should also have specific policies about how non-staff family members interact with children.   

Policies, however, aren’t enough, so you also might ask how practices are monitored. As you are talking with the director, look for open and forthcoming communication.

Remember, it is completely appropriate to ask administrators about their child sexual abuse prevention policies. Every school and day care facility ought to have these in place, but many still do not. If your school or day care does not have specific policies in place, ask about plans to do so and then make whatever decision you feel good making on behalf of your child, based on the response.

For a complete set of questions to ask administrators and teachers, print out a free copy of the Parenting Safe Children School Packet.