Children need to learn how to protect themselves, but at the same time you need them to take their
own risks if there is no chance of significant harm. They need the knowledge and the know how to
help protect and safeguard themselves. They need to know about strangers and how some are not
nice people, you don’t need them to be fearful of everyone that they come into contact with. Just
explain that most people care and protect children but there are some adults who try to take and
hurt children. Reinforce that this should never happen to them. Quite often children need things set
out in a routine such as, Have certain bed times for school days and weekends.
Here are a few strategies to help children to protect themselves;
• Speaking to and reinforcing about dangers posed by some adults and help them minimise the risk example underneath for older children.
• Speaking to and reinforcing how to behave with higher risk activities such as outdoor activities (e.g. road safety green cross code or younger children always hold an adults hand when crossing the road).
• Older children talk to them about substance abuse, the effects that they have on young people.
• Provide discussions or one-to-one conversations about *** and relationships (including sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV, chlamydia, herpes or gonorrhoea.
It is important to always explain to them age/stage appropriately and understand that they might use different words for parts of their body.
Reinforce what is allowed and what is not allowed such as: (This is set out for an older child but can be simplified with pictures for a younger child)
Tell the child that it is nice to have kisses, especially close family but they should never be kept as a secret.
Explain that all of their body belongs to them and not to anyone else. If anyone tries to touch your body in a way that you don’t want them to or it frightens you, say NO (in a loud voice)and tell somebody about them touching you, do not keep it a secret from others close to you