LETTER: Take child safety seriously

2016-06-28 06:00

I needed to write this letter as I read how a caring person advised parents to teach their children to use a “password” when a stranger, potential abductor or sex predator approaches them. This “password” system is supposed to protect children from strangers who approach or speak to them.

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 are parents and teachers.

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

Parents have to practice safety hints with their children. We as parents must listen to our children and know their activities and their habits.

At home: Never open the door for strangers. Never engage in conversation with strangers when answering the phone. There must be a list of emergency numbers the child must phone in the event of an emergency and the parents numbers must be on top of the list.

In public: Never just drop your children off at a mall, game arcades, parks or at a friend’s home. Get out of the car and escort them and do the same when you fetch them. Never leave a child alone in a vehicle.

At school: Make sure your child’s name is not visible on their clothing, backpacks, suitcases and lunch boxes. Parents have to do a recce of the route their children take and see if there are dangers. If there are bushes have the local councillor trim or cut these. See if you can line your children up with a “buddy system” to and from school.

Communication on a daily basis between parents and children is vital. Children must be encouraged to address their concerns without fear reprisals. A quote by Jeannine Lee: “Your children need to know they are loved and safe, everything else is adult business.”

Keith Blake, Ottery

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