Western Cape Government will once again be using its identification tag programme, Identikidz, to ensure child safety at Cape Town beaches this festive season.
"Identikidz is a massive undertaking and our staff work closely with other agencies, like the City’s enforcement staff, SAPS, and even the provincial Department of Social Development," said City's Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien via a press statement.
The city's continuation of the Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate (SDECD) programme comes after the success of the 2018/19 festive season which saw over 100 000 Cape-based children tagged with identification armbands at select beaches, and 535 lost children safely returned to their families.
Parents planning on frequenting the beach this summer will find the SDECD programme implemented at the following beaches:
- Fish Hoek
- Gordon's Bay
- Harmony Park
- Big Bay
- Sea Point and surrounding area
- Camps Bay
- Lagoon Beach
- Milnerton Beach
Councillor Badroodien is urging parents to make use of the service by registering at the specified beaches.
'We urge them to register their children with our Identikidz teams as soon as they arrive at the beach, and to ensure that they keep their cell phone close by and charged if we need to get hold of them."
The tagging will begin from 14 December 2019 up to 12 January 2020.
"Getting lost is a very traumatic experience for a child, and we want to limit the anxiety by reuniting them with their caregivers as soon as possible," added Councillor Badroodien.
Top tips for beach safety
And while the programme goes a long way to ensure beach safety, the responsibility remains with parents to be informed regarding how to keep their children safe while at the beach.
Parent24 editor Elizabeth Mamacos was asked to talk about child safety and drowning prevention in News24's weekly The Story Podcast (find the episode above), sharing a few tips she received from Lifesaving South Africa:
- Know where your child is at all times
- Keep emergency numbers such as the Sea Rescue emergency number (112) and the Ambulance service (10177) saved on your phone - consult Sea Rescue for additional emergency numbers by location.
- If your child cannot swim well (or at all) stay within arm’s length of them at all times
- Do not be distracted with cell phone calls or texting, it takes seconds for children to be washed away in a current
- Most important – only swim where lifeguards are present.
For more tips like these check out: How to stay safe at the beach this summer.
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