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Child protection is your, my, all our responsibility

Child protection week was commemorated during the first week of June.

In terms of the Children’s Act 2005 (Act no 38 of 2005) failure to report child abuse, neglect and exploitation to the police and social workers constitutes a criminal offence, according to Nathalie Martin, Stellenbosch Police Spokesperson.

“Parents and caregivers have the responsibility to ensure that their children are safe at all times.”

Martin gives the following safety tips with regards to children.

Personal safety for children

V Know your full name(s), your parents names, your address and phone numbers. V Never tell strangers your name or where you live.V Always keep a safe distance (about 3 arm lengths) from strangers and stranger’s cars, even if a stranger seems friendly. Run in the direction opposite to the direction in which the strangers car is travelling.V Scream “No” – run and tell. Screaming and running are better safety ideas than trying to hide if a stranger approaches you. V Do not take gifts from strangers. Remember its seldom that an adult will ask help or directions from a child.

Home safety

V Keep all doors and windows locked when you are at home alone. Go to a neighbour and call 10111 if a window is broken or if the door is open when you get home.V Answer the door by asking who it is, never say that you are alone, unless it is someone your parents told you to expect and let him/her in. V Don’t let strangers in and don’t engage with them. If you feel threatened phone an emergency number which can be your parent’s telephone number, police or that of a trusted neighbour.

phone safety

V Never say that you are alone when a stranger calls. You can say ‘Mom/Dad cannot come to the phone now, can I take a message’?V Don’t post pictures on social media that you are alone at home. V Do not accept friend requests from people that you do not know on social media. V Do not post or send inappropriate pictures of yourself to friends Z they may use it against you at a later stage.

parents

V You must know where your child is at all times. Know their friends and be clear with them about the place and homes they may visit. V Never leave children unattended in a vehicle whether it’s running or not. V Listen to your children. Pay attention if they tell you they do not want to be with someone or go somewhere. V Practice basic safety skills with your child.V Supervise electronic communication such as the internet, social networking and text messages. Understand cyberbullying where children may feel helpless against what is being said or shown in pictures about them online.V Stay connected to your child through thick and thin. Lonely children are more likely to be bullied and choose wrong crowds. V Be your child’s go-to person.

“We ask parents during this Covid-19 period to be involved in their children’s lives and check on their physical and mental state often to make sure they are protected, safe and healthy. . Police crime stop: 086 001 0111Stellenbosch police: 021 809 5012/15

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