Keeping children safe during the holidays

2019-12-18 06:00

SCHOOL holiday season has started and children are excited about the break.

In light of this, SAPS and child organisations encouraged parents to teach their children about personal safety these holidays.

Greytown SAPS’ Colonel Nkosithule Mvundla cautioned parents to look after their children during this busy holiday season.

“Our message is crystal clear: parents should encourage children to stay indoors and not go to town on their own — this increases the chances of them becoming the victims of sexual abuse.

“As members of the SAPS, we also warn parents to not send young children with large amounts of cash to the CBD,” Mvundla said.

“As the members of the SAPS, we have to try, by all means, to avoid wasting police resources. However, we encourage parents to report missing persons to the police immediately.

“Since schools have been closed, parents must ensure that their children are safe,” he said.

Jennifer Molepe from Childline KZN said that, during school holidays, children are becoming victims of sexual abuse due to the negligence of parents and caregivers.

“We visited Inanda recently and what we saw was shocking. Young children were walking around in the streets without the supervision of their parents.

“Parents should take care of their children because child trafficking is real — young children go missing during the holidays.

“We also urge parents to ensure that children do not go swimming without the supervision of an adult.”

CHILD SAFETY TIPS

• Children must know how to contact their parents, SAPS or another close relative in an emergency.

• Children must be taught to refrain from accepting gifts from strangers.

• Children must know to always keep all entrances and gates of a home closed and locked, and that nobody is allowed to enter without permission from a parent.

• Children must be taught how to activate and deactivate the alarm system and other security devices.

• Parents must know the whereabouts of their children at all times.

• Listen to your children. Pay attention if they tell you they do not want to be with someone or go somewhere.

• Practice basic safety skills with your children.

• Do not let children wear clothing or carry items that bear their names in public.

To report any crime against children, call the Child line number at 08000 55555 or your nearest police station.

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