All adults need to be respectful of a child’s personal space, particularly when it’s not their own child. There are times when contact with a child in the form of a hug or even fixing her socks can result in uncomfortable feelings from the child, her parents or other families.
To avoid any misunderstandings, the best practices for physical contact with children that aren’t your own should be limited to the following situations:
1. In response to the need of the child only (if he calls for help, need assistance, etc.)
2. With the child’s permission
3. Respectful of any hesitation
4. Careful to avoid private parts
5. In the open, never in private
6. Brief in duration
7. Age and developmentally appropriate
If you see another adult making contact with a child that’s not their own and appears to fall outside of these suggestions, keep an eye on the situation and be sure to report it to a league administrator if it escalates. The adult’s intentions may be harmless, but he does need some training on how to ensure the comfort and safety of every child.