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30 Tips for Child Abuse Prevention Month

Check out this list to see 30 examples of what you can do to help prevent child abuse: 30 Tips for Child Abuse Prevention

Learn the facts about child abuse.  Recognize that it happens to children in every zip code in our community. Visit www.familyandchildrensplace.org to learn more about the prevalence and affects of abuse.

Know the signs of abuse. Unexplained injuries aren’t the only signs of abuse. Visit www.familyandchildrensplace.org for more information. 

Start or join a babysitting co-op.  It’s healthy to take occasional breaks from your children; it refreshes you and helps you better handle difficult times.  Touch base with a few other parents and propose that you take turns watching each other’s children periodically.

Create an “Internet Safety” contract with your child. Set rules for when the Internet may be used, the appropriate areas to go online and the length of time children and teens are allowed to stay online.

Take a time out.  When you are frustrated or angry with your children, close your eyes and imagine you are hearing what your child is about to hear.  Other things to try: phone a friend, splash cold water on your face, take 10 deep breaths, or turn on some music. 

Get together with other parents to share stories and discuss challenges – provide a safe environment that encourages an open, supportive discussion. 

If you’re not a parent, a simple way you can help others is to volunteer to be an emergency contact or resource for families in your neighborhood.

Be aware of what your children are doing online.  Allow children and teens to spend time on the computer and Internet only in a common room. Use parental controls and contact your Internet service provider if you need assistance.

Inform children and teens that they need to keep personal information (including name, address, phone number, birthday, etc) private when they’re online.

Offer to help a friend or neighbor with children.  You can provide car rides, babysitting or even just a listening ear to help alleviate stress for a parent you know.  

Get involved. Volunteer for Family & Children’s Place and help create a community free of child abuse, neglect and violence. For information on volunteer opportunities, visit www.familyandchildrensplace.org

Never shake a baby.  Many adults feel frustrated when they hear their baby cry.  It’s okay to put your baby in a safe place and take a few minutes for yourself.  Shaking a child may result in severe injury or death.

Report suspected abuse or neglect.  If you suspect a child may be abused or in danger, notify the police or Child Protective Services immediately.  Kentucky’s Child Abuse Hotline is 1-800-752-6200; in Indiana that number is 1-800-800-5556.  All callers have the right to request anonymity. 

All children misbehave at times.  Never discipline your child when you are upset – give yourself time to calm down. Remember that discipline is a way to teach your child.   

Use discipline not punishment.  Tell children how your feel about their behavior.  Repeat expectations often.  After a child misbehaves, put them in time out (one minute per year old).  Remember you are the adult – stay cool and calm. 

Host a fundraiser to support Family & Children’s Place.  The funds you raise will go to child abuse prevention, intervention and treatment efforts.  For fundraising ideas, visit www.familyandchildrensplace.org.

Teach children that they have rights. Teach them that it is against the rules for adults to harm them or act in a sexual way with them.  When children are quipped with this knowledge, they are more likely to tell someone they trust if abuse happens. 

Start early and talk often about abuse.  Tell children that it is your responsibility to protect them from abuse.  Be sure to mention that abusers might be an adult friend, family member or an older youth. 

Know where your child is going and who they are with when not under your supervision.  Staying actively involved in your child’s plans can help reduce risks and increase their safety.  Talk openly with your children; good communication reduces their vulnerability to abuse. 

Teach children what parts of their bodies others should not touch.  Children often keep abuse a secret. Barriers can be broken down by openly discussing sexual abuse. 

Develop a safety plan so that your child knows what to do if abuse happens – where they can go, who they can tell, what they should do. Identify trusted adults children can go to. 

Volunteer to become a mentor.  One hour a week can make a big difference.  Mentoring a child or teen can demonstrate healthy, appropriate relationships and have a life-long impact. 

Set aside one day a week for “family fun time.” Play board games, watch a movie together, visit a park or library or checkout free events in the community.  Spending time together strengthens communication.

Organize a collection drive for new or gently used clothing, toys, baby items or school supplies.  These items will benefit children and families participating in child abuse prevention, intervention and treatment programs.  For more information on items you can donate, visit www.familyandchildrensplace.org

Listen carefully to what your child tells you.  If something doesn’t make sense or doesn’t sound right, find out more.  Repeat back to them what you hear and ask questions.   

Think carefully about the safety of any one-adult/one-child situation. Choose group situations when possible. This can reduce the risk of abuse and protect children. 

Participate in a child abuse prevention training program.  You may be surprised by the prevalence and consequences of child abuse.  You can take simple steps to prevent such abuse.  Visit www.familyandchildrensplace.org for more information.

Tell children to report suspected abuse.  It is important to know that children often disclose abuse to one another. 

Have dinner together as a family.  Eating together strengthens communication and may reduce stress levels for parents.

Catch your kids being good.  Tell your children that you noticed that they followed the rules, showed respect, helped others or had a good day at school.

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