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Stranger danger and sexual abuse is a topic that makes kids and parents uncomfortable. It is a difficult conversation to have, but one that is necessary. Not talking to your child can make him or her more vulnerable for a sexual predator.
Leslie Noble, MD, Pediatrician at NorthShore, suggests talking about this with children as soon as they are developmentally ready. With the average age of sexual abuse being 8 or 9, it is best discussed before then.
One way to approach this topic is to frame it around safety rather than abuse, suggests Dr. Noble. Think of the dialogue used in the dangers of crossing the street or not touching a hot stove and frame this conversation like that – focus on the safety aspect.
Dr. Noble recommends these guidelines:
If you find this topic a difficult one to approach, ask your pediatrician for advice or help having it.
How old were your children when you had this teaching moment?