Tips from Eblockwatch
• Teach your children to trust their own feelings and assure them they have the right to say no if they sense something is not right.
• Listen carefully to your children's fears.
• Children should know that no one should approach or touch them in a way that feels uncomfortable, and if anyone does they should tell you immediately.
• Be sensitive to changes in your children's behavior.
• Know where your children are at all times. Be familiar with their friends and daily activities.
• Be alert to anyone who is paying an unusual amount of attention to your children or is giving them inappropriate gifts.
• Obtain references for babysitters and be generally cautious about people who are left to care for your kids.
• Teach your kids to be assertive
• Teach them to say no to anyone or anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, scared or confused in any way
• Teach your kids to approach a security officer and ask for help if lost
• Teach them to memorize at least one cell number of a parent
• Teach your kids to not get into a car or go anyplace with anyone unless your parents said it was OK.
• Teach your kids to not approach a car or person who you think is following you.
• Teach them to not listen to people who ask for directions, need help finding a puppy or tell them their parents sent them to fetch them.
• Teach your children that if someone tries to take them somewhere, they should try and get away and scream: "This person is trying to take me away," or "this person is not my father (mother)!"
• Teach them to not go places alone - take a friend.
• Teach them to not allow strangers to take pictures of them
• Teach them that no one should touch them in the parts of the body that would be covered by a bathing suit. Their little bodies are special and private
Tips from ID-A-Kid
PRACTICAL STEPS IN DEALING WITH A MISSING PERSON SITUATION
There are two essential elements which will affect the eventual outcome of a missing person investigation, namely:
• Initiating an investigation both formally and informally immediately upon discovering that the person is missing. As time lapses the investigation becomes more and more difficult, which could negatively influence the eventual outcome.
• The immediate availability of detailed and accurate information regarding the missing person. A concise summary of all relevant information as contained in the ID A KID information card will prove to be of infinite value when filing a missing persons report.
PRE-EMPTIVE STEPS EACH PARENT SHOULD TAKE
Experience has shown that a large number of parents, in particular those of teenagers, have no knowledge of their children’s whereabouts and as such cannot assist the investigator in defining a possible geographical location or chronological time frame.
The following actions should be common practice in a household, as this information will prove to be invaluable should a child be missing.
• Know where your child will be, and with whom he/she will be with.
• Have contact details, including telephone numbers and addresses, of your child’s friends and their parents.
• Know how your child will be transported.
• Should the initial plans change while a child is out, he/she must inform his/her parents of this change.
• Know what time your child will return.
• Openly and frankly discuss the dangers faced by children in public places as well those types of behaviour which will make them more vulnerable to harm.
WHEN AND WHERE TO REPORT A MISSING PERSON
There is NO minimum waiting period in reporting a missing person; it is a fallacy that 24 hours must have elapsed prior to a person being reported as missing. As stated above, the sooner a report is made the more likely it is that the person can be found.
A person can be reported missing at the Client Service Centre of any South African Police Service station. It is, however, preferable to report it in the area where the person has gone missing, as the investigator will be familiar with the area and local conditions.
WHAT ACTIONS TO TAKE UPON BEING SURE THE PERSON IS MISSING
Both the informal and formal route should be followed.
• Telephonically supply all local security companies with a description of the missing person. These companies have a large number of vehicles in the area, thus improving the possibility of spotting the missing person.
• Telephonically inform the local Metro Police Department and request that the description of the missing person be relayed to their vehicles.
• Leave your contact details with your local hospitals, clinics and doctors’ rooms in order that you can be contacted should a patient fitting the description of the missing person be dealt with.
• Take all relevant information, as well as a recent photograph of the person, to the Client Service Centre of the nearest SAPS station. Having all information in the ID A KID card will prove invaluable. You will be emotionally upset, and in the confusion it is likely that you forget a valuable piece of information should you not have a ID A KID Complete Kit.
• Upon arrival, request that a SAPS 55(A) “MISSING/UNIDENTIFIED PERSON” form be completed. This 12 page booklet requires a detailed description of the various physical characteristics of the missing person, as well as circumstantial information in respect of this person. One is also required to attach a photograph to this form.
• If you suspect that the disappearance may be the result of a criminal act, it will be necessary to open a Crime Investigation Docket in addition to the SAPS 55(A).
• Do not accept that an Occurrence Book entry is sufficient. You are not merely providing information to the police, but in fact require an official investigation.
• As part of the SAPS 55(A) form, you will be required to complete and sign an ”ACCEPTANCE OF LIABILITY” document in which you authorize aspects of the investigation and commit yourself to informing the investigating officer should the missing person be found.
• Request a reference number or circulation number, as well as the name and telephone number of the investigator who will be dealing with the matter.
POST REPORTING ACTIONS
The missing person’s details will be circulated on the SAPS computer network, and will also be placed on the database of the National Bureau of Missing Persons (“NBMP”).
The contact details of the Johannesburg office of the NBMP is:
Postal address: P.O. Box 58452
Telephone. 011 670-6316
The following are the key factors in the finding of a missing person:
• Speedy action in reporting.
• Complete and accurate information.
• Co-operation by all role players.
Tips from ChildSafe
BE AWARE: TAKE CARE- WATCH CHILDREN NEAR WATER!
We would like to ask parents and caregivers to be alert near water and watch young closely especially during the summer months. Don’t get complacent during winter month as children drown during this season as well. Every day more than one child drowns in South Africa. Most of these drownings can be prevented.
Please take note of the following important messages to prevent drowning.
• Always supervise children, especially the young near water. Even if they can swim they still need to be watched.
• We recommend that swimming pools should be fully fenced with a self-closing and self-latching gate. SABS specifications on pool fences are available.
• Do not prop pool fence gates open. Many children have drowned in fenced pools because someone left the gate open.
• Make sure there is nothing for your child to climb onto near the pool i.e. pot plants, trees. Make sure your child does not have access to the pool from the house.
• If you do not want to make use of a fence, install a pool safety net. These should always be kept on when pool is not in use and once taken off children should be supervised. Always use pool nets according to instructions.
• Never rely on floatation devices or swimming lessons to protect your young child.
GENERAL WATER SAFETY
• Never leave small children unattended in the bath. A drowning happens in a matter of seconds. If you have to leave the bathroom, take your child with you.
• Always empty containers of water. Keep nanny buckets closed or high out of reach.
• The fishpond should always be covered with mesh or a net to prevent infants from drowning.
• Make sure your toddler does not have access to a Jacuzzi.
• Always empty paddling pools after use or close safely.
• If you live near natural hazards such as rivers, dams, vleis, you can’t fence these so fence your backyard or property. Always know where your children are.
• When boating everyone should wear lifejackets.
• Always supervise children at the beach and at public swimming pools.
• Small children should never swim alone.
• Always be prepared for emergencies, learn CPR.
• Teach children to swim as soon as possible and also teach them water survival skills.
• Always make use of a good qualified swim teacher.
Foreign Bodies – Ingested or inhaled
It is quite natural for young children to place different objects in their mouths, but sometimes the result can be serious
The Red Cross Children’s hospital trauma Unit annually see between 300 – 400 children for foreign bodies that are ingested, inhaled or; lodged in the ear or nose or for food ingestions that are lodged in throat or inhaled. These usually include, chicken bones, nuts, fishbones, coins, marbles, pins, safety spins, pieces of crayons and many other objects.
The age group of 3 years and younger are most at risk because of their natural curiosity and propensity to place objects in the mouth. Therefore the at risk age groups’ play and sleeping area should be free of small objects which might be inhaled or swallowed.
Choking and Suffocation
How you can prevent it.
It only takes a few seconds for a child to pop a small object into his mouth and choke.
With a few simple precautions you can protect children against these accidents.
You can protect children and babies from choking and suffocation by knowing what causes it.
• Never leave a baby to drink his bottle by himself. He could vomit, inhale the milk and choke.
• Babies should not be given any food they cannot chew properly. Large chunks are easily breathed in.
• When preparing food, remove small bones – for example from fish or chicken.
• Never give children under five years peanuts because they frequently cause choking.
• Avoid giving children dried peas and beans to play with.
• Teach older children not to give hard biscuits or sweets to a young baby.
• Inhalation of food often take place when children are not sitting still but running about or are physically active with food in the mouth.
Peanuts are often overlooked but a genuine hazard for small Children. Childsafe do not recommend peanuts for small children preferable under the age of five years but definitely not to 3 year old and younger children. Children younger than three years do not have their full set of teeth yet and may not be able to chew properly due to that. The young often inhale peanuts. It would be good if manufacturers would consider having package labelled with warning that peanuts may be dangerous to children 3 years and younger.
It is wiser to keep peanuts out if the house if parents have toddlers. Because peanuts are difficult to cough up, the tend to lodge in the lung where they can cause a irritation due to an oil that they contain, which may lead to further problems
• Choking most frequently happens to babies between the ages of five and eighteen months. Keep all small objects out of reach of the baby who is at this hand-to-mouth stage of development.
• Safety pins should always be out of your baby’s reach.
• Keep small toys or toys with small parts away from babies until they are old enough to handle them. Parts broken off toys and games should be thrown away or be repaired. Also rid of small pieces of crayon.
• Dummies used should be well designed. Beware of soft or small dummies that may fit into the baby’s mouth wholly. Also be aware of parts separating and becoming lodged in the throat.
• Beware of letting small children play with beads, buttons, coins, bits of torn plastic or broken balloons. Make a habit or picking up these small items if they are lying