Teaching Young Children Safety Lessons

Tennessee law requires that 3, 4 and 5 year old children in child care programs receive annual instruction in personal safety  which includes a component that addresses child sexual abuse prevention.  We use  “Talking About Touching”, a time-tested  and evidence based program created by the Committee For Children.  The content and method of instruction in the curriculum were developed using current research on child abuse prevention and social learning theory.  This curriculum introduces the topic of child sexual abuse within a general safety curriculum. Through story-telling and role play, children learn rules that apply to: car and traffic safety, fire safety, gun safety, getting found, interactions with strangers, getting and giving safe touches, dealing with unsafe touches, saying no to unsafe situations and touches, and asking trusted adults for help.safety-dog-and-cindy

Our director, Cindy Ligon, conducts the lessons with the help from her training companion, Safety Dog.  She meets with two groups of preschoolers several times a week during the fall season.  Because children are more likely to learn personal safety strategies if they are given many ways to practice the skills, in addition to role play, we encourage parents and caregivers to talk with children about the lessons. A follow up note, describing the lesson, is sent to parents after each lesson and classroom teachers extend the lessons throughout the day.  Encouraging parents and caregivers to talk with children about safety and specifically sexual abuse is a key component of child sexual abuse prevention.

 

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