Touching Safety

Categories: Misc, Other

Do you work with children as part of your job?  If so, you have probably been made aware of your organization’s policies with respect to child protection.  Here are a few great reminders about appropriate touching when caring for children in a work setting. *

  • Appropriate touch to arms, upper back, head and hands only.
  • Inappropriate touch is to chest, stomach, lower back, legs and private parts.  Good rule of thumb is never touch where bathing suit covers.  Exceptions to this may be for diapering/toileting, swim or gymnastic instruction.  Be sure to check with your supervisor regarding your organization’s policy.
  • Hugs are sometimes necessary to comfort a child.  Use side hugs for appropriate time length.  Avoid full frontal hugs and long lasting hugs.
  • Lap sitting may only be appropriate for preschool children and is never appropriate with older children.
  • Be aware how children respond to touch and get permission to touch; for example, when tending an injury.
  • Set boundaries with clingy children; for example, allowing only goodbye/hello hugs.
  • Report disclosures by children of inappropriate touch to supervisor/appropriate authorities.
  • Teach children about appropriate touch and body safety rules: private parts covered by bathing suit are theirs and no one should touch; you can say no to touch that makes you uncomfortable and you can tell a trust adult; listen to your feelings like the uh-oh feeling that something is wrong; to respect others (adults and children) by not touching their private parts and; lastly, that if someone does touch them it is not their fault; it is against the law for someone to touch their private parts.

*Adapted from Touching Safety training offered by The Redwoods Group for youth serving organizations.

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