Get innovative to keep your kids safe

2017-06-06 06:00

Child safety needs a more serious approach in the community.

This is the feeling of community worker Keith Blake from Ottery following an article in People’s Post about churches supporting the initiative (“Church champions kids”, 30 May).

He says that while more awareness is always welcome, parents and caregivers must concentrate on more innovative ways to keep their children safe.

“I see that they talk about a ‘password’ system to protect children from strangers who approach them or speak to them, but then that person is already close enough to grab your child,” he says.

“We have to go deeper into this issue of our children and grandchildren’s safety. The best instructors to teach our children about their personal safety is the parents and their teachers and it must happen every day.

“The golden rule or the most important rule is that we must drill into our children’s daily routine to never talk to or approach a stranger, even if they know the child’s name.”

He adds that young children grow up very quickly and parents should keep up to date with their changes.

“Make sure you have the latest picture of your child with all the child’s distinctive characteristics, like eye colour, scars, birthmarks because this is all helpful when a child goes missing.

“People must also remember that when a child goes missing it should be reported immediately. Sometimes people waste time by trying to look for the child themselves.”

Blake adds that there are a number of situations when children must be made aware of safety practices.

“In the home they must never open the door for strangers. Always call an adult. When answering the phone they must never engage in conversations with strangers.

“Children should never be left alone in a car.

“When it comes to teenagers, never just drop them off outside malls, parks or a friend’s home. Take them inside to meet whoever they are meeting.”

Blake adds that safety at schools should be a priority.

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