Fri, 27 November 2015
According to figures released by the South African Police Service Missing Persons Bureau, a child goes missing every six hours in South Africa. This adds up to 1460 children per year. They are kidnapped for various reasons including sexual assault, organ donation, muti, slavery and ransom. We need to implement child safety rules in our households to decrease the likelihood of our children becoming part of these frightening statistics.
As a parent, you should know where your child is at all times and know what is happening in their lives. Develop a close relationship with them so that they can trust you enough to tell you if something untoward happens or if someone behaves with them improperly.
- Teach them your address and phone numbers. If they are small, put identification bracelets with your contact details on them when going to public places. If they get lost in a mall or public place, they should go to the nearest security guard/policeman. If someone is following them, they should scream and run away from the follower.
- Keep a recent photograph of your child in your wallet so that it is readily available if required. Special ID kits can be purchased within which you can keep your child’s photo, record their vital statistics such as hair and eye colour, their fingerprints and DNA samples (hair strands). This will help if something happens to them.
- Children should be taught not to trust strangers or go anywhere with them. Teach them a code word, for example, “Open Sesame”. If you need to send someone to pick them up, that doesn’t usually do this, this person should know the code word.
- They should not accept sweets, drinks, money or gifts from strangers.
- They should not play in the streets alone or go to public toilets alone.
- Get them accustomed to the buddy system where they must always take a friend/buddy with them wherever they go.
- If your child is using social media, teach them online safety rules. Befriend them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter so that you can monitor their activities. If something happens to them, you can use the power of social media to spread the news, after informing the relevant authorities.
- Do not wait 24 hours to report that your child is missing!
- If your child does go missing, you will need to report this at your nearest police station. Give them as much information as possible.
- Keep emergency numbers readily available, such as the police, Childline and missing children organisations.
Important numbers to note are:
Cell phone help: 112
Missing Children SA: 072MISSING (072 647 7464)
Childline: 08000 55 555
SAPS Crimestop: 08600 10111
Specially written for www.babiesonline.co.za by Sara Essop
Wed, 4 November 2015
More and more freak accidents are taking place in South Africa all the time. The tragic part is that most could have been easily prevented. It is essential to child-proof your house once you have children. There are professional services available in South Africa that come to your house, scan it for potential risks and child-proof it for you. Or you could do it yourself by following the simple guidelines below.
Medicines, household cleaning materials and other poisonous items should be kept in childproof containers where children cannot access them. They can cause poisoning and kill children within minutes.
Swimming pools are one of the leading causes of freak accidents involving children. Yet too many people are still careless when it comes to their swimming pools. Pools should always be covered and fenced off when not in use. When children swim, even if they are able swimmers, they should always be supervised by a responsible adult. Never leave small children alone or unattended in the bathroom either. They could drown in a few centimetres of water.
Cords attached to electrical appliances should not be left hanging where children can pull them and burn themselves. Cover unused electrical plug points with safety plugs to prevent children from pushing small items, or their fingers, into them and getting electrocuted.
Fires can be prevented by not leaving matches lying within reach of children. If possible, smoke detectors should also be installed in every room.
Glass objects and ornaments should not be kept at a level where children can reach and break them. Low-level windows and glass coffee tables should have safety glass in order to prevent injuries to children.
Staircases should have safety gates installed at the top and the bottom to prevent small children from climbing them and falling down.
Plastic bags are everywhere. Yet a small child could easily suffocate himself by pulling one over his head. Keep them out of reach.
Children should be taught not to tease animals and not to play with strange animals. Animal behaviour is unpredictable and they can cause grievous harm to children and adults alike. Pets should be kept healthy and free of parasites. Their food and water utensils should be washed separately from the household dishes and small children should not have access to pet bowls of food and water.
Following these rules will prevent freak accidents in your household. As children get bigger, one can explain to them why they should not do dangerous things like play with matches but it is always better not to let them have the opportunity to do so. As they say, prevention is better than cure.
Specially written for www.babiesonline.co.za by Sara Essop
Thu, 15 October 2015
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Click here to enter our competition and stand a chance to win a hamper
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