Sexual abuse is a widespread problem. Statistics revealed that 1 in children are sexually abused before they turn 18. Worse, many of these cases go unreported.

Sexual abuse is a risk for every child. Here’s how to keep your kids safe from predators.

Encourage your kids to talk about their day

Get to know the people in your child’s life. Show interest in their day-to-day lives. Ask them what they did in school. What games they played after school, who they played with, and if they enjoyed the game.

By maintaining an open communication with your children, they’ll feel comfortable knowing that they can talk to you about anything.

Teach your child how to get out of an uncomfortable situation

Some children feel uncomfortable saying no. Often, they think that if they say no, they may come across as disrespectful. As such, it is important to teach your child how to get out of a scary or uncomfortable situation.

Assign a code word that they can use when they feel unsafe.This is beneficial as it gives your child a way out of a bad situation. When the child uses the code word, you know that there is something wrong. It’s just that the child can’t tell you what it is.

Clarify rules for playing doctor

It is common for children aged 3 to 6 years old to play doctor. Sometimes you catch them, and sometimes you don’t. Parents tend to panic when situations like this occur.

It is best to establish a rule that if they are to play with their friend, they should keep the door unlocked. Also, if they want to play doctor, it is best to use dolls or stuffed animals as their patients.

No secret policy

Most sexual predators will tell your child not to talk to anyone about the abuse. Some may threaten the child. “If you tell anyone about it, you’ll get in trouble”. Others may do it in a friendly way. They may say, “I really enjoy playing with you, but if you tell your mom about our secret, you may not be able to see me again.”

Tell your child that secrets are not okay, especially body secrets. No secret policy can protect young kids from sexual abuse without scaring them.