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Top 10 books To Teach Body Safety To Children !

It is very essential to teach our children 'body safety' from a very young age in today's scenario. As a mother and an ECE Educator, I firmly believe and recommend to all parents to incorporate 'body safety' in day to day discussion with your child. This would empower and equip your child to stay safe; by differentiating between good touch and bad touch.

Also, our focus has always been keeping our children safe from strangers - however, the harsh fact is; that the offender is mostly someone known, trustworthy and part of the immediate family. Thus it gets imperative to break the silence and educate our children right from the preschool.

There are some great books, which are very readily available and these can be used to teach children body safety skills. Since young children learn and absorb visual information very quick and effectively, thus books are great medium to impart 'Body Safety' knowledge to children. Here are some of my recommendations:

1. Watch Out! No Touch – by K Krishna

A picture book that helps parents open a conversation with children about good-touch bad-touch. The story is of a little girl Sargam, who loves playing mystery games. One day while playing the game she finds out that her friend has been inappropriately touched and has been asked to keep it a secret and not share with anyone. Sargam then helps her friend and tells her "TO YELL AND TELL" and never keep secrets from parents. The books is dealt very well in terms of children friendly illustrations and can be a great tool to educate the younger ones.

2. My Little Body Book: Keeping Ourselves Safe - by Shruti Singhal

This simple, delightful picture book introduces youngsters to the importance of taking care of their own bodies. From simple tips on hygiene to an empowering message on how to distinguish safe and unsafe touch, Shruti Singhal's visuals and text provide perfect reading material for talking about health, safety and emotional and physical well-being with very young children. Using straight-forward language and charming illustrations, My Little Body Book helps parents and concerned adults give kids guidance they can understand, practice and use.

3. My Body Belongs to Me by Jill Starishevsky

Without being taught about body boundaries, a child may be too young to understand when abuse is happening—or that it’s wrong. This straightforward, gentle book offers a tool parents, teachers, and counselors can use to help children feel, be, and stay safe. The rhyming story and simple, friendly illustrations provide a way to sensitively share and discuss the topic, guiding young children to understand that their private parts belong to them alone. The overriding message of My Body Belongs to Me is that if someone touches your private parts, tell your mom, your dad, your teacher, or another safe adult.

Since we have the above 3 books on our shelf, here is a detailed video in case you would like to have a look inside each of these books!

4. Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept by Jayneen Sanders

This is a beautifully illustrated children's picture book that sensitively broaches the subject of keeping children safe from inappropriate touch. We teach water and road safety, but how do we teach Body Safety to young children in a way that is neither frightening nor confronting? This book is an invaluable tool for parents, caregivers, teachers and healthcare professionals to broach the subject of safe and unsafe touch in a non-threatening and age-appropriate way. The comprehensive notes to the reader and discussion questions at the back of the book support both the reader and the child when discussing the story. Suitable for children aged 3 to 12 years.

5. Matilda Learns a Valuable Lesson by Holly-ann Martin

Matilda learns that if you feel unsafe, you need to tell an adult you trust, that you don't feel safe. She also learns the importance of persisting with telling adults you trust, until someone helps you feel safe again. As adults, we need to be careful about the messages we give to children. This book helps parents and teachers talk with children about self protection, in a gentle and meaningful way. It also contains resource pages for adults, which include going over the main points of protective education (protective behaviours), and giving specific information to effectively and efficiently deal with receiving a disclosure of abuse from a child.

6. Your Body Belongs to You by Cornelia Maude Spelman

This book beautifully explains what to say and do if someone touches your body when you do not want to be touched, especially when the action involves the touching of private parts.

7. I Said No!: A Kid-to-Kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private by Zach King & Kimberly King

I Said No! uses kid-friendly language and illustrations to help parents and concerned adults give kids guidance they can understand, practice and use.Using a simple, direct, decidedly “non-icky” approach that doesn’t dumb down the issues involved, as well as an easy-to-use system to help kids rehearse and remember appropriate responses to help keep them safe.

I Said No! covers a variety of topics, including: What’s appropriate and with whom.How to deal with inappropriate behavior, bribes and threats.When and where to go for help, and what to do if the people you’re turning to for help don’t listen. Dealing with feelings of guilt and shame.

8. No Means No!: Teaching Personal Boundaries, Consent; Empowering Children by Respecting Their Choices and Right to Say 'No!' by Jayneen Sanders

'No Means No!' is a children's picture book about an empowered little girl who has a very strong and clear voice in all issues, especially those relating to her body and personal boundaries. This book can be read to children from 3 to 9 years. It is a springboard for discussions regarding children's choices and their rights. The 'Note to the Reader' at the beginning of the book and the 'Discussion Questions' on the final pages, guide and enhance this essential discussion. It is crucial that our children, from a very young age, are taught to have a clear, strong voice in regards to their rights - especially about their bodies. In this way, they will have the confidence to speak up when they are unhappy or feel uncomfortable in any situation. A strong, confident voice as a young child converts to a strong, confident pre-teen, teenager and adult.

9. Do You Have A Secret? (Let's Talk About It!) by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

This book discusses the difference between secrets that are fun to keep and those that make people unhappy, and encourages youngsters to confide in their parents or another trusted adult such painful matters as bullying or improper touching.

10. Amazing You!: Getting Smart About Your Private Parts by Gail Saltz

Mom, where do babies come from?? Many parents live in fear of the day their child asks this question, which inevitably happens; often as early as the preschool years. Here is a picture book designed especially for young children who are becoming aware of their bodies, but aren't ready to learn about sexual intercourse. Written with warmth and honesty, Amazing You! presents clear and age-appropriate information about reproduction, birth, and the difference between girls and boys bodies.

Apart from the books listed above; I would also like to share this film done by CHILDLINE India - KOMAL (A film on Child Sexual Abuse)

Komal is like any other bright, sensitive and happy 7 year old. Her new neighbour - Mr. Bakshi, who moved in with his wife, is her father's old friend. Komal bonds with the affable Mr.Bakshi with whom she has a whale of a time. Until, Komal discovers Mr.Bakshi's bitter reality.

CHILDLINE India Didi explains to children the concept of safe and unsafe touch, so that they can be better equipped to protect themselves and take help from trusted adults if ever caught in a similar situation.

Hope the above information was useful to you all and would help you as a parent or a caregiver to prepare your child for SELF PROTECTION.