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December 19, 2022

Keeping Children Safe During the Holidays

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During the hustle and bustle of December festivities, parents and caregivers will want to keep their child’s safety as your top priority as you go to every party or event. It can be uncomfortable to think about any of your family members or friends sexually abusing your child, but parents and caregivers are a child’s best line of defense.

This holiday season, as you prepare to take your children to others’ homes, invite people into your home, or attend an event in the community, there are some easy things you can do to reduce the risk of your child being sexually abused, or from engaging in harmful sexual behaviors.

Saprea clinicians say the best way to keep children safe during the holidays is to plan ahead, think through potential risks, and consider the following tips:

Before you go to an event

  • Make a list of risky situations.
  • Talk to your children about boundaries and consent.
  • Create and discuss family rules.
  • Get the adults on the same page.
  • Establish a safety plan with your children.

During a holiday event

  • Don’t force children to give hugs.
  • Check in on them frequently.
  • Let them choose their activities, when possible.
  • Give them space or time alone if they need it.
  • Be cautious of embarrassing them.

Once you get home

  • Play the “two good things and one bad thing” game.
  • Thank them for meeting your expectations.
  • Think about next time and what you might do differently.

With some planning ahead, open communication, and taking the time to really listen to children, parents will know what they need to do to reduce the risk of their loved ones being sexually abused or engaging in harmful sexual behaviors no matter the situation or season.

Visit Saprea’s website at saprea.org for more prevention tips.