Kids Use This Hand Signal For Help

All too often, victims of abuse fear speaking out. This is even more common for child abuse victims. How do we empower our students to speak out when they’re in danger? Check out this new hand signal for help!

The Women’s Funding Network has created a hand signal that ANYONE can use when they are in danger. This hand signal for help provides an opportunity for students to reach out without attracting attention from the person they’re with. Students who know this universal gesture can use it when they are in any uncomfortable situation.

Teach this simple hand signal for help to your students:
1) Tuck thumb in palm
2) Trap thumb with other fingers
3) Lift fingers back up (keep thumb in)
4) Repeat

As mandated reporters, teachers must know this signal to be alerted about potential abuse and contact the proper authorities when appropriate. It’s subtlety resembles a wave hello or goodbye and thus seamlessly acts as an alert across many situations, including in an online classroom. Watch someone use this hand signal for help on YouTube.

A teenage girl in danger flashed this signal at passing cars until someone saw, recognized the signal, and alerted the police. The girl had learned the signal for help from Tik Tok.

When teachers learn about this sign and educate their students, they can start watching out for children’s safety and recognize potentially harmful situations in their school, through Zoom and even in their community.

Be sure to tell parents about this signal for help. When it comes to keeping kids safe, we are all in this together! 

Learn more child safety tips with online training for teachers.

About the Author
Ellen Paxton is a respected expert in education and best known as the Chief Learning Officer of Professional Learning Board. As a two-time National Board Certified Teacher, Ellen has successfully published and customized online professional development courses and Learning Management Systems for 20 years to help teachers meet their state continuing education renewal credit requirements. Through, and, Ellen has established solutions and maintained partnerships with several accredited universities, higher education institutions, teachers’ unions and state Departments of Education while setting strategic direction that makes a difference and overseeing implementation of popular online PD for schools.