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NSPCC Safeguarding Update

12th Jan 2020

Here is an important update from the NSPCC.

We all want to keep our children safe.

You’ve probably already talked to them about things like crossing the road safely, but have you spoken to them about how to stay safe from sexual abuse?

We know it’s a conversation that no parent wants to have, but we believe it can feel just as natural, and be just as easy, as the road safety chat.

We call it talking PANTS.

From P through to S, each letter gives an important message for children as young as four to help them stay safe. That is why we want all parents to talk PANTS – because we know that talking regularly with children about these important messages really can help them stay safe.

We know what you might be thinking: this isn’t for my child! Of course, no parent ever wants to think that their child will be affected by sexual abuse. But that’s exactly why it is vital that you have this conversation – to help keep them safe. We also understand that discussing this topic might feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

PANTS has been created specifically – with the help of parents and professionals – to make sure that these conversations are as easy and appropriate as possible for children as young as four.

PANTS never mentions sex. We know you might feel that your child is too young to talk about sex so that is why it is not mentioned. PANTS is certainly not about learning about the birds and the bees either. It is simply about the sharing and reinforcing of practical and reassuring messages designed to help children stay safe.

We never use scary words either. Talking PANTS is about using simple, child-friendly language to give your child the confidence and knowledge in order to stay safe.

Finding the Right Moment

Every family is different and when and where you have these conversations depends on your child’s age or how grown up they are. It is about what feels right.

Here are some ideas from other parents:

  • when you are running your child’s bath, or helping them with getting dressed or applying cream
  • car journeys are a great time to talk
  • going swimming is a great time to talk about the idea that what’s covered by your pants and your swimwear is private
  • if they’ve had a lesson about personal relationships at school, ask them what they remember when they get home
  • if their favourite TV programme is handling a sensitive storyline encourage them to talk about anything that might upset or worry them

 NSPCC Links:

Main Site:

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/underwear-rule/

Parent’s Guide:

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/advice-and-info/pants/pants-2018/pants-parents-guide-online.pdf

Ice-Breakers:

www.nspcc.org.uk/pants