Sleepovers are a common part of childhood. They are also a time when your child may be more vulnerable. When we allow children to stay the night at other people’s homes we may increase the chance of sexual abuse. The offender may be the parent in the home, older siblings, neighbor children, or friends/relatives of the family. Here are some tips to help keep your child safe:

·         It is imperative for children to have a way to communicate with their parents if something occurs they are not comfortable with, or if they need to return home at any time.

·         We often know the families we allow our children to spend time with, but seldom know all the people our children may be exposed to while in their care. Ask who will be around your children.

·         When children are allowed to stay overnight they may be forced to wait until morning to tell if someone touches them inappropriately. Some children will never tell. Oftentimes as parents we ask our children if they were good and if they behaved when we pick them up. Try privately asking things like… Did you have fun? What did you enjoy? Was there something you didn’t enjoy?

Source: Safer Sleepovers, Children’s Home Society of South Dakota