Holidays are here, bringing joy, cheer, and lots of time with family and friends. While they are a great time for celebration, we at Baltimore Child Abuse Center also want to remind families that the holidays can also be a risky time for children. While there are no statistics saying that the risk for abuse increases at this time of year, circumstances surrounding the holidays make it easier for abuse to occur. Extended family and friends are in and out of our homes, kids are running around, and it is easy to be distracted by activities going on around us and lose sight of the safety of our children.
Here are some of BCAC’s tips and tricks for keeping your kids safe this holiday season:
- Don’t Force Hugs: Respect your child’s decision to protect their body and space.
- Create a Family Safety Plan: Print out BCAC’s family-safety-plan & complete it with your kids.
- Talk Body Safety: No matter the age, it is important to use developmentally appropriate language and help children understand boundaries. Try this video from our friends across the pond at NSPCC.
- Don’t Keep Secrets: Tell your children that there are no secrets kept in your family, and what they can do if someone asks them to keep a secret.
Remember that while the holidays are joyful and fun for most, they can also be stressful and risky time for children. Read the signs your child may be giving you, and stay in regular communication with them.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season,
Drew & all of BCAC