Simple dos and don’ts to prevent child abuse.
Don’t leave your children alone in strange places. If you want to take your child to Chucky Cheese, don’t just give them money and leave. The staff isn’t there to babysit. Even in friends’ houses, if you’re not intimately acquainted with the family, make sure your child has a way to contact you at all times. You should also pick up your child to and from school, and if they ride the bus make sure you are able to greet them at the door of your house or apartment building.
Don’t shift your child caring to others. Leaving them completely in the care of household staff allows your child to transfer their trust from you to an employee in your home and again, leaves them vulnerable. Even with a 9-5 job, parents must find a balance for childminding, and enrolling them into preschool early is a good option as well. Sending your baby with your driver to pick up your other kids so you can get some shut-eye, however, is NOT.
Do decide on a magic word system. We read this in an online post once and thought it was a wonderful idea. Sometimes, even with the best intentions children can get lost, and people with bad intentions can mislead them to thinking the predator knows their parents. Pick a word that your child will know is the password for anyone who knows you.
Do keep an open channel with your child. If your child knows they can come and talk to you about any little thing, you’ll make it easier for them to let you know something’s wrong. Always ask them about their day at school, a friend’s house or any situation you’re not available in. Also, provide your child with a family cell phone that they can call you on if they need to.
Disclaimer: These tips are in no way a fool proof guide. Every situation and family is different. But in our society child molestation and bullying is a subject that is shifted over and swept under the rug, and we do urge you to take a moment and think about the effect any kind of neglect, whether intentional or unintentional, may have on your child.