Keep an eye on your child

2015-05-12 06:00

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A child goes missing every five hours in South Africa. This amounts to 1 697 children a year of whom 23% are not found, according to statistics released by the police’s Missing Persons Bureau in 2013.

In 2015 the picture is however not looking much brighter.

Parents of a four-year-old Bloekombos boy is in mourning after his body was found in a nearby dam a few days after he went missing.

Closer to home the community of Hanover Park is still looking for six-year-old Sasha-Lee November who has been missing for over a week.

While the parents of missing children holds on to every little bit of hope, the truth is we as parents should take more responsibility for the comings and goings of our children.

How often do you hear of toddlers playing unsupervised in the street, or parents assuming their children were visiting friends or relatives?

The fact is no young child should be left unattended. A four-year-old should not be playing in the street or left unsupervised in your front yard. Their seven-year-old sibling also does not count as proper supervision.

School-going children should be made aware from an early age about “stranger danger” and what to do if someone offers them treats or a ride. Teaching them to be street smart should be one of a parent’s top priorities.

And in case they should get lost, they should know at least one parent’s phone number by heart and who to approach for help.

Even teenagers should be aware of the dangers of leaving the safety of your home or school without telling anyone where you are going.

Safety starts at home

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