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Partners in the Face It Movement release new resource on safe sleepovers and time with friends

With school out for the summer and children and teens spending more time hosting sleepovers and visiting friends’ houses, partners in the Kosair Charities Face It Movement have released a new resource, Playing It Safe: Tips for Safe Sleepovers and Time with Friends.

The new tool offers parents and caregivers important information and tips to consider for a safe and fun experience as they send their child or teen off for a sleepover or to hang out with friends.

“Trusting other adults with our kids is hard, especially if you’re sending off a little one to their first sleepover,” said Sonja Grey, executive director of Exploited Children’s Help Organization (ECHO). “This new brochure will serve as a helpful tool as parents and caregivers prepare for sleepovers and visits with friends. Sharing information about your child—and asking for information about the home they will be visiting—will help keep your child safe and help ease your mind.”

The Face It Movement launched in 2013 as an initiative led by Kosair Charities in response to the number of child abuse deaths in the Commonwealth.

Face It focuses on a three-pronged approach to addressing child abuse and neglect: promote best practices in child abuse prevention and intervention, build awareness and engage the community, and advocate for effective policies to improve the child welfare system.

Playing It Safe includes information on what kids should know for their safety, tips for parents and caregivers to be prepared to drop their child off at a friend’s house, and conversation starters on details to share and questions to ask.

A few examples from the tool include:

• Empower kids with safe body boundaries. Make sure your child uses the correct names for body parts, including their genitals, and knows the difference between “okay” and “not okay” touches. No one should ask to see or touch their private parts or show them pictures of private parts. Teach them, if those things occur, to tell a trusted adult.

• Be available. Come up with a code word or phrase your child can say on the phone when they want to be picked up, like “let’s go shopping” or asking about their pet.

• Communicate with caregivers. Share information on any medical needs, how to reach you, and online expectations. Ask about who else will be at the home, sleeping arrangements, and the safety plan for any dangerous items that may be in the home.

“Child safety is an adult responsibility. This tool will promote parents and caregivers to talk to their children about body safety and to each other about discipline techniques, other adults in the home, and critical safety and health related details,” said Dr. Christina Howard, a child abuse pediatrician with University of Kentucky. “Empowering children with information on safe body boundaries is key to making sure your child is ready for that next level of socialization outside of the school day.”

The new tool includes an accompanying magnet that parents and caregivers can hang on their refrigerator as a reminder of the safety tips and to prompt conversations at pick up or drop off.

The Playing It Safe brochure and magnet are available for free and can be viewed and ordered at faceitabuse.org/resources.

To learn more about the Face It Movement, how to recognize and report abuse, and prevention resources, click here.

Kosair Charities enhances the health and well-being of children by delivering financial support for healthcare, research, education, social services, and child advocacy. We envision a world in which children in need live life to the fullest. For more information, click here.

Kosair Charities

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