Protecting your child

Information and advice on how to protect children and young people from harm. 

Bruising to immobile children

It is difficult to cause bruising to immobile children (those who cannot move around by themselves) with day-to-day activities such as feeding, nappy changing and normal handling. Even where babies fall or get knocked it is unusual for them to bruise (unlike children who are crawling or walking who often get bruises).

In Bracknell Forest any professional who comes across bruising in an immobile  child is required to refer the child to a specialist child doctor (paediatrician) as it can be a sign of a health condition, a blood disease or an infection.

The child will also be referred to Children’s Social Care, who will work with the specialist child doctor to decide what further steps, if any, need to be taken. Further help and advice can be found in the bruising on immobile children information leaflet.

If you think that a child or young person may be at risk of harm or neglect, please contact Children’s Social Care straight away. For further information see our child protection page.

Safe handling of babies

Rough handling of babies can cause serious injuries. The NSPCC have collected the best advice from professionals, as well as some top tips from parents, to provide you with safe, positive ways of holding and caring for your baby. The leaflet handle with care explains the dangers and gives advice on safe ways of holding and caring for a baby. For local help or support contact your health visitor or children’s centre.

Staying safe online

The internet is an exciting and fun place for adults and children to use and explore educationally and socially. The challenge for parents and carers is to make sure children are aware and understand how to be safe when using the internet and related technologies.

The Childnet know it all guide will help you to understand online safety issues and give you practical advice as you talk to your children so they can get the most out of the internet and use it positively and safely.

Bullying – how you can support your child

Bullying is never a normal part of growing up, character building or something that only happens to children. Whatever form it takes, bullying is always wrong but it can happen to anyone, both within school and outside in the wider community at any time.

For local support contact the family support adviser (FSA) or headteacher in your school. You can also contact Youthline (a free, confidential counselling service for young people) on 01344 311200 or e-mail

Domestic abuse in teenage relationships

Abuse in relationships can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, disability, faith, or family situation.

Teen abuse - information and advice is produced by the Home Office as part of their teen abuse campaign. It will help you find out more about teenage relationship abuse, explain the tell-tale signs to look out for, and will give you advice on how to talk to your children, or children you are responsible for, about the issue.

For more local support and advice see our domestic abuse page. To speak to someone in confidence, call Berkshire Women’s Aid on 0118 950 4003.

Drug and alcohol misuse

Many parents worry about their child becoming involved with drugs. They feel that they don’t know enough about drugs to help prevent their child from coming to harm.

Does your child know more than you information leaflet is produced by Talk to FRANK and contains some basic facts about drugs. It offers guidance to help you talk about this subject with your child. There is also more information and help if you are worried that your child may be using drugs or drinking too much alcohol.

For local help and advice contact New Hope on 01344 351653. You can also find more information on our alcohol, drugs and substance misuse page.

Child sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation affects thousands of children and young people across the UK every year. It is an illegal activity by people who have power over young people and use it to sexually abuse them.

This can involve a broad range of exploitative activity, from seemingly ‘consensual’ relationships and informal exchanges of sex for attention, accommodation, gifts or cigarettes, through to very serious organised crime.

As a parent or carer, you could have an important role to play in protecting children from exploitation, helping to cut them free from this horrific form of child abuse.

Barnardos have produced leaflets for parents and carers and young people to help them spot the signs of sexual exploitation. There is also support and further information for parents at Pace UK.

If you think that a child or young person may be at risk of sexual exploitation, please contact Children’s Social Care or the police straight away. For further information see our child protection page.

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