WASHINGTON, (UPI) — Bullying can happen anywhere, and to anyone, but it can help to talk to kids about it and teach them how to stand up to bullies safely, U.S. officials said.
Erin Reiney, a public health specialist at the Health Resources and Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said bullying can be verbal, like name calling; or social, affecting reputations and relationships, or physical, hurting someone or their possession.
“If a youth is being bullied, we really encourage them to talk to an adult they can trust and to not keep their feelings insides,” Reiney said in a statement. “It’s important to tell somebody so that you can feel less alone.”
Children, parents, educators, and communities can learn how to take action against bullying and prevent it from happening by going to stopbullying.gov.
“An adult can give comfort, support, and advice, even if they can’t solve the problem directly,” the Web site said. “Encourage the child to report bullying if it happens and talk about how to stand up to kids who bully. Give tips, like using humor and saying ‘stop’ directly and confidently. Talk about what to do if those actions don’t work, like walking away.”
Adults should discuss with children strategies for staying safe, such as staying near adults or groups of other kids.
“Urge children to help kids who are bullied by showing kindness or getting help,” Reiney said.