Age-appropriate Topics for Discussion with Your Child:

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that as a parent you should:

  • Teach your child about the privacy of body parts. Some parents describe these as areas covered by a bathing suit.
  • Listen when your child tries to tell you something, especially when it seems hard for them to talk about it.
  • Know who your child is spending time with. Be careful about allowing your child to spend time in out-of-the-way places with other adults or older children. Make visits to your child's caregiver without notice. Ask about the time your child spends with sitters.
  • Give your child enough of your time so the child will not seek attention from other adults.
Age Discussion Topic
18 months Teach your child the proper names for body parts.
3-5 years Teach your child about private parts of the body and how to say no to sexual advances. Give straightforward answers about sex.
5-8 years Discuss safety away from home and the difference between good touch and bad touch. Encourage your child to talk about scary experiences.
8-12 years Stress personal safety. Start to discuss rules of sexual conduct that are accepted by the family.
13-18 years Continue to stress personal safety. Discuss rape, date rape, sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancy.

If You Suspect Child Abuse

  • New York State 800 342-3720
  • Onondaga County 315 422-9701

For more information:

Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital
One Children's Circle
Syracuse, NY 13210
Phone: 315 464-KIDS
Toll Free: 866 543-KIDS
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