Harriet Odoley Klufio (right), Child Protection Specialist and Advocate, with Augustina Tawiah (left), Staff Writer of the Daily Graphic, after the interview at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Harriet Odoley Klufio (right), Child Protection Specialist and Advocate, with Augustina Tawiah (left), Staff Writer of the Daily Graphic, after the interview at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

Don’t allow children to go for sleepovers - Parents advised

Parents have been advised not to allow their children to go for sleepovers in their friends’ homes unless they are familiar with the people of that household.

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A Child Protection Specialist and Advocate at the Child Health Department of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Harriet Odoley Klufio, who gave the advice in an interview, explained that some sexual abuse cases the department had attended to occurred during such sleepovers in friends’ homes.

“When your children are going for sleepovers in their friends’ houses, please ascertain whether there is a male adult or an older male sibling of the friend in that household.

We’ve had cases where some children were abused during those occasions.

So we are trying to discourage parents from allowing their children to do that,” she explained.

Bathing the girl-child

Mrs Klufio, who is also a forensic nurse, again advised against the habit of male parents bathing their daughters, explaining that since the male parent would have to clean the vagina of the girl-child when bathing them, it would cause the child to think it was normal for any adult to put their fingers in their vagina and, therefore, would not report such incidents.

“We should let the child know that wherever the clothes are covered, nobody has the right to touch it.

Nobody has the right to touch your breast, nobody has the right to touch your buttocks, play with it nor touch your vagina.

Once anybody tries to do it, they should report to an adult person around them.

It doesn’t matter if it is their mother or not, once the person is an adult and can listen to you, report to them,” she advised.

Right names of body parts

She said it was also important for parents to teach their children the right names of the parts of the body.

This way, when the children find themselves in situations of sexual abuse, they will not feel shy to say they have been touched at those places.

“So teach children the right names of the body parts.

You mention the nose as nose, the ear as ear so what is wrong with calling the vagina, vagina and penis, penis.

Say it because we’ve made them to think that when they mention it, it’s an anathema.

We should use the names correctly. 

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