kids runningIt’s the end of the school year and summer is just about here! Simple skills can help kids be safer at camp and recreation programs, at home, in the neighborhood, and on trips:

Taking trips, going to camp, or spending more time on their own in the neighborhood can be great for kids in the summer. But changing routines and going to new places can also present new risks. Parents and kids need to take the time to make safety plans and practice how to get help in these new situations if there’s a problem wherever they go – be it camp, a neighbor’s house, or on a trip!

Here are some resources providing simple steps parents can take and safety skills they can teach their kids before summer camp and recreational activities start, in ways that are fun and age-appropriate rather than scary.

1. “Summer Safety: Kidpower Tips For Families,” offers 14 tips for making safety plans and practicing safety skills for new situations and routines at home, in the community, at summer programs, and on trips.

2. Our parent-education video, “Kidpower Advice To Prevent Sexual Abuse At Summer Camp & Recreation Programs,” provides more information about what parents need to know about sexual abuse and how they can help kids learn to set effective boundaries and get help from the adults in charge. The video covers:

• Questions parents can ask and how to assess the answers from a summer camp or recreational program;

• How to teach and role play boundary setting skills with kids to help them stop unwanted touch, teasing or affection and how to be persistent in getting help from other adults; and

• What parents can do if they become aware of or suspect that abuse may be happening.

3. “Choosing a Summer Camp or Recreation Program,” by our Kidpower North Carolina Center Co-Director and my Doing Right by Our Kids partner, Amy Tiemann Ph.D., provides important information about the kinds of safety answers we need before leaving our kids anywhere.

We hope you find these resources helpful for making safety plans and teaching safety skills to help everyone have a fun summer. As always, please do contact us if you have questions about advocating for a child’s safety.

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; and The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People.

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