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Sexual Abuse Issues: Children and Youth

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What are age-appropriate topics to discuss with children and youth concerning sexual abuse? Won't it scare them? How do parent or caregivers discuss sexual abuse to children and youth? Explain and please include all references.

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Solution Summary

Concerning sexual abuse, this solution explains age-appropriate topics for parents and caregivers to discuss with children and youth. Sensitivity and the specific methods are explained in detail of how to discuss these issues in a way that will not scare the child or youth.

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Question: What are age-appropriate topics to discuss with children and youth concerning sexual abuse?

Solution: Prevention measures to safeguard your children should begin early, since a number of child abuse cases involve preschoolers.

The following guidelines offer age-appropriate topics to discuss with your children:

1. 18 months--Teach your child the proper names for body parts.

2. 3-5 years--Teach your child about private parts of the body and how to say "no" to sexual advances. Give straightforward answers about sex.

3. 5-8 years--Discuss safety away from home and the difference between "good touch" and "bad touch." Encourage your child to talk about scary experiences.

4. 8-12 years--Stress personal safety. Start to discuss rules of sexual conduct that are accepted by the family.

5. 13-18 years--Stress personal safety. Discuss rape, date rape, sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancy. Your child's teacher, school counselor, or pediatrician can help you teach your child to avoid sexual abuse. They know how this can be done without making your child unduly upset or fearful. (1)

Pediatrician understands the importance of communication between parents and children. The family doctor is trained to detect the signs of child sexual abuse. the parent is advised to ask her or his pediatrician for advice on ways to protect your children.

2. Won't it scare them?

In fact, many parents will ask the ...

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