A child-friendly way for parents to discuss ‘good vs. bad’ touching

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SALT LAKE CITY — The arrest of Mark Nigh, a co-owner of an in-home day care accused of sexually abusing at least three young girls under the age of 3, has raised many concerns among parents.

Salt Lake City Police Detective Greg Wilking said, “If we didn’t have an alert parent paying attention to their child, this could have kept going on.”

Having the important conversation with your children is imperative, licensed clinical social worker Ana Perez said Tuesday. “Never be shy to talk to your kids about stranger danger or boundaries,” she said.

At the Family Support Center in Taylorsville, Perez sees a range of patients in her office daily, including domestic abuse victims, and her case load of child sexual abuse cases is overloaded. “It happens very, very often, too frequently,” she said.

When it comes to talking to your children about things like their bodies, secrets and inappropriate touching, you have to speak their language. Perez suggests parents with younger children, age 5 and younger, utilize a coloring book called "Good Touch Bad Touch,” which is available on the Channing Bete Company's website.

“They get to color, and sometimes they'll want to color a page and they'll have me color a page however they want to do it,” she said.

The coloring book walks you and your child through the steps of what to do, what to say and who to tell if they are put in an uncomfortable situation. “It’s important for kids to know police officers are their friends.” Perez said.

It’s never too early to start the conversation.

“It can be a very intimidating conversation for some, but it is important that their children are and that they start building their communication with their children at a young age.”

Salt Lake City police indicate there may be other victims and asked that anyone with information call police at 801-799-3000.

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Nicole Vowell


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