Mercy Medical Center Sioux City

Tips for Parents

How to quiet a crying baby:

  • Gently hug the child.
  • Use a Snugli-type carrier that holds the baby close to the body.
  • Run a vacuum cleaner within hearing range of the child.
  • Give the baby a pacifier.
  • Check to make sure that the baby is not wet or hungry.
  • Call a friend, neighbor or relative and ask them to give you a break. Do not leave the baby unattended.
  • Play soft music or sing.
  • Take the child for a ride in a stroller or (using a car seat) a ride in the car.
  • Put the child in an infant swing.
  • If you breastfeed, avoid eating onions or beans, and avoiding drinking coffee, tea or cola.
  • Place the baby in a crib on his or her back. Check the baby every 10 to 15 minutes. Do not leave the baby unattended
  • Call Mercy Child Advocacy Center 24 hours a day if you need help or more information: 712-279-2548.

Protecting your child from sexual abuse:

  • Let your child know that he or she can tell you anything and you will always be supportive.
  • Teach your child that no one, not even a teacher or a close relative, has the right to touch him or her in a way that feels uncomfortable. Teach your child that it is OK to say, "No, get away," and to tell a trusted adult about the incident.
  • Don't force kids to kiss, hug or sit on a grown-up's lap if they don't want to. This gives them control and teaches them that they have the right to refuse.
  • Always know where your child is and whom he or she is with.
  • Tell your child to stay away from strangers who hang around playgrounds, public restrooms and schools.
  • Be alert for changes in your child's behavior that could signal sexual abuse, such as sudden secretiveness, withdrawal from activities, refusal to go to school, unexplained hostility toward a favorite baby-sitter or relative, or increased anxiety. Some physical signs of abuse include bedwetting, loss of appetite, venereal disease, nightmares and complaints of pain or irritation around the genitals or anus.
  • If your child has been sexually abused, report it to the police or a child protection agency immediately.
  • If your child is a victim of sexual abuse, don't blame him or her. Listen and provide safety.

Cyber safety for kids:

  • Set aside time to explore the Internet together. If your child has some computer experience, let him or her take the lead. Visit areas of the World Wide Web that have special sites for children.
  • The best tool a child has for screening material found on the Internet is his or her brain. Teach children about exploitation, pornography, hate literature, excessive violence and other issues that concern you, so they know how to respond when they see this material.
  • Choose a commercial online service and software that offer parental control features. These features can block contact with sites that are not clearly marked as inappropriate for children: chat rooms; bulletin boards; news groups and discussion groups; or access to the complete Internet.
  • Monitor your children when they're online and monitor the time they spend online. If a child becomes uneasy or defensive when you walk into the room or when you linger, it could be a sign that he or she is up to something unusual or even forbidden.
  • If your child receives threatening e-mail or pornographic material, save the offensive material and contact that user's Internet service provider and your local law enforcement agency.

Tell your children:

  • To always let you know immediately if they find something scary or threatening on the Internet.
  • To never give out their name, address, telephone number, password, school name, parent's name, or any other personal information.
  • To never agree to meet face-to-face with someone they've met online.
  • To never respond to messages that have bad words or seem scary or just weird.
  • To never enter an area that charges for services without first asking your permission.
  • To never send a picture of himself or herself to anyone without your permission.