Home > MENTAL HEALTH > Mental Health for Kids > GOOD TOUCH AND BAD TOUCH


What is touch?  Touch can be defined as an act of physical contact with someone or something. When we are touched we get feelings inside, the feelings we have depend on whether it is a good touch or bad touch.

Good touch can be described as touch that makes someone feel warm, comfortable and safe inside, like when your parents hug you. Good touch is also known as safe touch.

Bad touch can be described as touch that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe and gives you bad feelings inside like feeling sad, ashamed or frightened. Bad touch examples are like when you are hit or pushed. Bad touch is also known as unsafe touch.

Therefore, where can you be touched and who can touch you?

A child as young as 2 years old can name certain parts of their body. By 4 or 5 years they can name and are more aware of their body and its functions. At this age they learn that certain parts of their body are private.

Hence, they must be taught that their body is their own and belongs to them. No one can touch their body without their permission and they can refuse to be touched.

There are parts of your body that is private and personal to you. A child must be taught about these parts. There are 4 zones deemed as private or personal parts; your mouth, chest, area between your legs (genitalia) and buttocks. These areas can only be touched by yourself or by your mother or father. Your mother or father will touch you when they bathe you. Your doctor may touch you when he or she examines you in the presence of your parents.

Another method is to teach children the underwear rule: A child should not be touched by others on parts of the body covered by their underwear. They should not touch others in these areas too.

Source: breakfreeandshine.com

What to do if someone touches to you?

  1. Shout “STOP” or scream as loudly as you can for help
  2. Run fast to a safe place or where there are other people
  3. Tell someone you trust i.e. mother, father, grandparent, teacher etc. Keep on telling someone until someone believes you and takes action.
Source: www.slideshare.net

Situations that you should tell parents or someone you trust:

  1. When someone touches you or sees your private or personal parts.
  2. When someone shows their personal parts to you.
  3. When someone asks you to take off your clothes.
  4. When someone takes pictures of you without clothes on.
  5. When someone shows you pictures or videos of people who are not wearing clothes.
  6. When someone kisses or touches your private parts.

Parents can help empower their children:

  • Talk to your children about good touch and bad touch. If your child wants to talk about touch don’t brush them off or ignore them. Take this opportunity to teach them about their body and use appropriate language or terms when teaching them about their body parts.
  • Do not force or pressure children to be affectionate with everyone even relatives? There are cases of abuse involving close family members or relatives.
  • Teach and tell your child to express discomfort by using words. Some children have difficulty identifying or expressing their emotions; instead they cry, shout or throw things to express their discomfort.
  • Practice role play: Practice what they should say (‘No, I don’t like that. STOP!’) and do (tell me or a trusted adult) if they are ever asked to show or are touched in their private areas.”
  • Trust your children
  • Always tell your children you love them and if anything happens don’t blame them. Instead continue to reassure them that you love them and avoid talking about the incident all the time.

Touching Rules To Remember

  1. There are good touches and bad touches
  2. No one should touch your private parts without your permission
  3. Never agree to keep bad touches a secret
  4. Tell someone you trust and keep on telling until you get help with the problem


  1. http://childonchildsexualabusepreventiontaskforce.homestead.com/Good_Touch__Bad_Touch.pdf
  2. https://www.youtube.com/user/mDhilhealth
  3. (underwearrule.org/ource/text_en.pdf).
  4. https://breakfreeandshine.com/2015/09/12
  5. http://www.slideshare.net/Navanita1986/good-touch-bad-touch-ppt-45974179
  6. http://parenting-guide.com/what-is-appropriate-age-to-tell-child-about-good-touch-and-bad-touch/
  7. http://b-inspiredmama.com/10-tips-for-teaching-kids-about-good/
  8. https://es.slideshare.net/mobile/monikamanchanda/good-touch-bad-touch-ppt-7737665/14?t=123&smtNoRedir=1
  9. http://wanita.ikram.org.my/2015/11/map-sentuhan-selamat-sentuhan-tidak-selamat/
Last Reviewed : 26 Oktober 2017
Writer : Dr. Nazariah Aiza Bt Harun
Accreditor : Dr. Eni Rahaiza Bt. Muhd Ramli