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Watch for predators targeting your child
There are warning signs parents should recognize
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Summer should be a time of childhood fun. Yet, for working parents, summer can be a trying time of “Where can my child go when I’m at work?” and “How do I keep them safe but allow them to have fun?”According to Children’s Advocacy Center executive director Martha Phillips, sexual predators will target vulnerable families and the best way to protect children is through knowledge on the grooming stages used by sexual predators.“As caring parents, you should be aware and cautious of the adults in your children's lives,” said Phillips, who offered Summer Child Safety Tips geared toward educating parents and protecting children. “Grooming is when an offender gains the trust of the child and/ or family and then establishes a special or secret relationship with the child.”The following stages were taken from “Child Sexual Abuse: 6 Stages of Grooming” by Dr. Michael Welner:• Stage one — Targeting the victim: A sexual predator targets a victim by checking out a child and family for vulnerability.