Keeping your child safe and out of harm’s way is one of the most important duties of being a parent. But that can be a difficult task in today’s world, especially with the rise of child predators. Child predators are adults who target and prey on children in a number of ways, which can occur both in-person and online. In this article, we’ll focus on some of the tips for keeping children safe from child predators.
Tips for Children to Stay Safe from Child Predators
There are a few main tips to keep kids safe from child predators:
1. Know the Signs of a Child Predator
Child predators can take many different forms, but here are some of the most common signs to be aware of:
- Individuals who associate with children more than peers
- Individuals who use aliases or pretend to be someone they are not
- Individuals who engage in inappropriate behaviors with children and show an unusual interest in things like tickling, wrestling, hugging, or kissing
- Individuals who express controlling behavior and show signs of jealousy with children
- Individuals who create a dependency with children—often called “grooming”—like being very attentive toward a child, showering them with gifts, calling and texting often, and giving lots of praise
- Individuals who push past physical and sexual boundaries. This may involve someone who engages in seemingly innocent touches—like a hand on the back—and escalates to inappropriate touching of breasts, thighs, genitals, and other types of fondling
- Individuals who use manipulative language with children
These signs are crucial for parents to know, but you should also try to teach kids about them and make them understand that these actions are not okay.
2. Teach Your Kids About Important Safety Tips, Boundaries, and Things They Should Never Do
It’s also important to teach your children about general safety tips, proper boundaries, and things they should never do, including:
- Online safety tips—never giving out personal information, never sharing passwords, and more
- Never going anywhere with an adult unless they are trusted and designated by you as the parent
- Knowing how to call 9-1-1 and the situations that require it
- Never accepting or eating food from strangers
- Knowing the proper boundaries between themselves and adults, including types of touching, language, and other behavior
- Never answering the door or the phone when parents aren’t home, and especially never letting someone in the house
- Never giving out personal information
3. Ensure They Are Always in a Safe Place
Another part of keeping kids safe from child predators is to make sure that they are always in a safe place when you are not around. This can involve designating family members and friends to care for them while you are gone. It also includes enrolling your children in clubs or programs where you know they are supervised and safe. Having a trusted adult around when you are not is the best way to guarantee your child is safe.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta aim to serve the children in our communities, especially by keeping them safe. One of the ways we do this is through our afterschool programs which provide a safe place where children have access to homework help, fitness activities, workforce development, literacy activities, and more. In fact, our clubs are one of the safest places for kids because of our safety policies, especially since the majority of child abuse occurs within the family.
Each of our clubs provides kids with a safe place to play, learn, exercise, and receive nutritious foods. Find out how you can get involved with our organization by signing your child up for a club or afterschool program, making a donation, or volunteering to help our cause today!