WICHITA, (Kan.) Addressing body safety and body parts are conversations Diana Schunn, executive director at the Sedgwick County Child Advocacy Center encourages parents to have with their child early on.
"Give body parts right names so children have the tools to be able to talk about their bodies, just like we do our nose and ears and other parts of our bodies so that when there is a concern they have the tools to talk about that," Schunn says.
The National Children's Alliance reports there were more than 200-thousand child sex abuse cases nationwide in 2016 alone.
Red flags that could indicate a child has been sexually abused include: increased fear, inconsolable crying, changes in eating habits, eating more or less, chronic head aches, stomach aches, inability to concentrate or bed wetting.
But Schunn warns these signs should never be taken as an automatic conclusion the child has been sexually abused.
Instead, Schunn says parents should also ask their children open-ended questions to try to figure out what happened or seek help from a professional, "Why is the child crying more often, why are you scared, why don't you like going to your aunt or uncles any longer? Those kinds of behavior questions are oftentimes very helpful. Your pediatrician, your nurse practitioners, your health care provider, any of those folks should be able to help with sifting through what are the behaviors you're seeing, where are the levels of concerns and where should you take it next"?