Many ideas to help you protect kids

2015-06-16 06:00

With an increase in missing children, the provincial police have issued a safety guide for parents to follow.

The information was released to commemorate Child Protection Week which came to an end on Sunday 7 June.

The following tips are meant for daily use.

. Many incidents occur when children are playing outside while parents are inside, so always be aware of your children’s whereabouts and ensure they have adequate parental supervision at all times.

. Keep a close eye on your child’s cellphone and internet usage and who they’re communicating with.

. Do a background check on any childminders that you employ and ensure that any daycare facilities you send your children to are registered.

. If you can’t fetch your children from school, make sure the teachers are aware of who will be collecting them.

. If abuse is happening within the family unit, don’t ignore it or try and manage it internally. Reach out for professional help from the police or the various child protection institutions.

. Children are also advised to be honest with the parent so that they can be able to help them or pick it up easily in case of any form of abuse.

. Parents should know and understand their children, talk openly to them about abuse and their protection.

. Break the silence surrounding child abuse.

“If you suspect any abuse is happening, don’t keep quiet, report it to your nearest police station or the various call centres that have been set up,” says Major-General Masego Botsheleng, head of the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit.

How to report crimes against children

To report any suspected child abuse, neglect or exploitation, contact any of the following hotlines:

. Call CrimeStop on 08600 10111

. SMS CrimeLine on 32211

. Call the Mitchell’s Plain police on 021 370 1706 or 082 469 3149

. Call the department of social development’s 24-hour command centre on 0800 428 428 (toll-free). Callers can speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling. Callers can also request a social worker from the command centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# from any cellphone.

. Call Child Welfare South Africa on 0861 424453 or 011 452 4110 or email info@­child­welfaresa.org.za.

You can remain anonymous if you are concerned about your identity being made known to the suspected perpetrators.V

For more tips visit www.missingchildrensa.org.za

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