MONDAY, March 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Many parents are not having talks with their preschool or school-age children about inappropriate touching, according to a new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital national poll from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The survey was conducted in January and February of 2020 and included a sample of parents who were asked about their experiences talking with their children about inappropriate touching. The researchers received responses from 1,106 parents who had at least one child (aged 2 to 9 years) living in their household.

While experts say to start talking with children about inappropriate touching during the preschool years, only three in five parents agree this is the best age to start. The survey results indicated that three out of four parents of school-age children have talked about inappropriate touching compared with less than half of parents of preschoolers. Parents report a lack of support, with two in five parents saying they have never received any information on how to talk with their child about inappropriate touching. Furthermore, three out of four parents would like their child’s school or preschool to provide information on the best way to talk to their children about this sensitive subject.

“This is a conversation parents should be having multiple times in age-appropriate ways,” Mott Poll Codirector Sarah Clark said in a statement. “Parents shouldn’t disregard the reality of child sexual abuse. Statistics show that up to one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18.”

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