Keep your children safe

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Children are our most precious gifts and we need to protect them from harm at all costs.

Louis Grobler,a security practitioner at APCAN Security, has given the community the following tips to ensure the personal safety of its children:

– It is important for children of all ages to know their full name, age, telephone number and address.
– In case of an emergency, children should know how to contact you (parent), the SAPS or another close relative.
– When a child answers the phone while home alone, he/ she should tell the caller you are there, but you are busy and cannot come to the phone. The caller can call back later.
– Children should immediately end telephone calls with strangers by hanging up the phone – even if the caller continues to talk.
– Should your children be home alone, and someone knocks on the door, they should establish the identity of the person, without opening the door.
– Teach your children to tell the stranger at the door that you are busy and he/ she should go away and come back later.
– Children should never engage in prolonged conversation with a stranger at the door – if they feel threatened they should know how to phone an emergency number. An emergency number can be any number – your telephone number at work, the police or a trusted neighbour who will be at home.
– Children should never walk or play alone – if at all possible they should do so in groups.
– Before accepting gifts or sweets from strangers, children should always ask your permission first.
– Teach your children that adults – especially strangers – rarely ask children for help in finding things or for directions. They should also know that both men and women can be strangers.
– Your children should know that if they become separated from you in a store or a shopping mall, they should immediately go to a store employee or cashier.
– Know your children’s friends and be clear about the places and homes they are allowed to visit.
– Notice when someone shows your child a great deal of attention or give them gifts – ask about the person and find out why he/ she is behaving that way.
– Teach children they have the right to refuse any unwelcome, uncomfortable or confusing touch or actions by others and to get out of those situations as quickly as possible. If they cannot leave they should be taught to kick, scream and resist by yelling loudly, “This is not my father/ mother/ guardian”.
– Practice basic safety skills with your children.
– Your children should not wear clothing or carry items with their names on in public – it makes it too easy for strangers to approach them.
– You should develop code words – and children should know not to go with anyone who does not know these words.

Grobler concludes, “These tips are based on awareness, rather than fear. They’re a compilation of new – and some older tips – by request.”

Also Read:

What to do when you’re a hijacking target

More handy tips to prevent crime

 

  AUTHOR
Adéle Bloem
Journalist

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