Children taught how to stay safe

2017-06-07 06:00
The Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison has brought the issue of children’s rights to life for pre-school children in Hartswater with an educational puppet show on children’s rights and protection.Photo: Supplied

The Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison has brought the issue of children’s rights to life for pre-school children in Hartswater with an educational puppet show on children’s rights and protection.Photo: Supplied

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Parents are urged not to wait too long before reporting a missing child.

“If you have looked in every possible place your child could be and still have not found your child, immediately seek help at your nearest police station.”

This was part of Sgt Tumelo Sebuasengwe of the Hartswater police’s message at a puppet show in Hartswater on Tuesday, 30 May.

To raise awareness among the vulnerable and children about their safety, the Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison partnered with various stakeholders to host the event.

An initiative had been launched as part of National Child ­Protection Week, which was observed from Sunday, 28 May, to Sunday, 4 Junie, in which the presentation of puppet shows ensured that messages reached children in an exciting and informal way.

“The pre-school children are among those we shared our message with, especially during this time when more and more of our children are either being reported missing or sexually abused,” said Keitumetse Moticoe of the department.

She said the children were informed about their body parts and what could be seen as appropriate and inappropriate body contact.

“Our children need to know they can tell their parents, guardians or teachers if someone is touching them inappropriately or saying inappropriate things to them.”

Parents and guardians were cautioned by the acting regional manager of the Frances Baard District, Greg Jammer, to be attentive to changes in behaviour when it came to their children.

“If a vibrant and outspoken child suddenly behaves differ­ently, it is a red flag to pay attention and calmly ask questions,” said Jammer.

“Be observant of signs of child abuse.

“Parents also need to know where their children are and keep a close eye on them.”

Sebuasengwe cautioned children not to walk alone or accept lifts or sweets from strangers. He told them to play close to home and in groups.

“It is not okay for people to touch you on ‘no-go places’,” said Sebuasengwe.

“Tell someone if anyone is offering you lifts or touching you inappropriately.”

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