Safety tips for children

2018-01-23 06:00

Steenberg police have issued safety tips to learners, and officers say it is important for parents and teachers to take note.

Parents and caretakers are urged to take full responsibility for their children and ensure their safety at all times.

Steenberg police spokesperson, Warrant Officer John Bartlett, says it is important to keep an open line of communication and trust between parents and children, and children and the school, and for parents to know their children’s friends.

Bartlett says children must be taught basic safety rules and to follow the rules and instructions well.

“Tell children never to approach a vehicle unless they are absolutely sure they know the occupants and they have permission from their parents to get in the car,” Bartlett ­explains.

“Children must never accept a lift, sweets or money from strangers, or talk to any adult they do not know, and they must always let you know where they are.”

Children are warned to avoid giving out their home telephone number to strangers and to walk to and from school in groups.

“Never wander off. Avoid lonely/deserted places and don’t take short cuts through alleys or deserted areas. Please do not hitchhike,” advises Bartlett.

Children should also learn to trust the police and know that the police are thier friends, and to only approach uniformed police officials and/or marked police vehicles.

Never open your front door to people you do not know, Bartlett says.

“Also, your body is private and you have the right to say no,” says ­Bartlett.

What parents can do to protect their children against firearm ­violence:

.Teach your children about the dangers they might encounter, including firearms.

.Teach your children that a firearm is a deadly weapon and not a toy.

.Make sure that your firearms are kept in a firearm safe and that your children cannot access the keys to the safe.

.Teach your children that an air gun is still a dangerous weapon. Although air guns have been deregulated, the abuse of an air gun is regarded as an offence.

“If you have very small children, it is advisable to teach them to stop, do not touch, leave the area and tell an adult if they see a firearm at home, at a friend’s house or anywhere else,” Bartlett says.

“Parents must be observant so that they can identify any abnormal behaviour from their children.”

When you go to crowded public areas such as shopping malls or beaches, ensure that your children have your cellphone number with them in case they get lost.

V Anyone with information about illegal activities is asked to contact Steenberg police on 021 702 9000. All information will be treated as confidential.

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