Safety for our children comes in all shapes and sizes. One thing remains true, as parents we want to love and protect our children. From conception to birth and a lifetime.
Much talk is centered around school ending, summer is here and that means day and sleepover camp is just around the corner. As a pediatric practice, we know keeping our kids healthy and safe is a year round job. This is why we have additional articles, tips and videos to share with you.
A few weeks ago Dr. Lightman participated in a first of its kind, Camp Hotline for Abuse Prevention for Children. Total Family Care has shared this in our blogs, our news and consistently on our social media channels. We heard the hotline has been accessed over 2500 times. That is phenomenal!
Last month, over 400 women from Crown Heights attended an educational workshop entitled “Parenting, Mind, Body and Soul.” One of the speakers at that event was Debbie Fox, LCSW, Founder of Safety Kid a program taught internationally in frum schools through Yeladmin Child Safety Institute founded in 2013. Debbie Fox is also featured on the Camp Hotline.
Just last week Debbie Fox and Dr. Lightman were interviewed by Susan Schwamm for an article in the print edition of The Jewish Home titled “A Candid Conversation About Preventing Abuse in Camp”.
In THJ, Dr. Lightman shared how a casual calm conversation can open the door to just about any topic with your child. Debbie Fox re-enforced that sediment and focused on the conversations parents need to have regarding physical safety with their bodies. Often time, the parents are not sure where to start and what language to use with children of various ages. Mrs. Fox goes on to say that the single most important tool against child sexual abuse is your approach, advocacy, listening skills, hearing them deeply and conversing without judgment.
The Jewish Mom, a popular blog, shares Debbie Fox’s 10 Tips to help parents start conversations regarding safety. Tips include sleepovers, camps, babysitting, siblings, secrets, boundaries and above all belief in your child.
Mrs. Fox shares in her video featured (click on image) it’s the parents responsibility to open the conversation with your child. Look for an “opening” to have a delicate but important conversation with your children (of all ages) on their body and private parts. As the parent, you need to tell your child what is not acceptable and then what steps to take if something were to happen. As the parent you want to build trust with your child so that you will always be there for them, to tell you anything, no matter how terrible it might be.
One of the very important aspects Debbie Fox shares in this video is what parents need to be doing with summer camps and what questions to ask. Knowing the policies at camps with regard to unacceptable behavior, allegations of abuse, how are camp counselors trained in such allegations, who do they report them to, what are the policies on pranks and bullying and how are parents contacted or notified. Then it is the job of the parent to tell your child how to handle situations at camp. Make sure your child knows who the “trusted adult” is at camp (a safe person) that they can go to and feel safe in the event there is any such situation. Parents have every right to call camps and ask these critical questions.
“Be that parent“, the one that your child will want to ask or tell you anything – not the friend who may mislead or steer your child wrong”.
Camp Hotline 614-715-3800
Awareness, education, and open communication with children are the cornerstones of effective efforts in protecting our children. Safe communities really begin at home.
As always daven