How to keep our kids safe

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Hiresh Ramthol

WHILE it’s a ter­ri­fy­ing thought even con­sid­er­ing our chil­dren be­ing hurt in any way, it’s a re­al­ity.

This can hap­pen to any­one’s miss­ing child. Let’s start con­duct­ing pub­lic ed­u­ca­tional cam­paigns for miss­ing chil­dren and also or­gan­ise an aware­ness pro­gramme for a bet­ter fu­ture for them.

No par­ent can look af­ter a child all the time, but there are things par­ents can do to min­imise the chances of some­thing such as this hap­pen­ing.

Teach your chil­dren to check with you be­fore they go any­where or get into a car – even with some­one they know.

You should know where your chil­dren are at all times.

Chil­dren should not ac­cept gifts or favours from any­one with­out check­ing with you first.

They should not go alone to places, es­pe­cially un­known ones. They should al­ways take a friend with them.

Chil­dren should know your ad­dress, your home phone num­ber, your cell­phone num­ber and your work num­ber.

They should be wary of any­one who asks for help.

You should keep a re­cent clear pho­to­graph of your child. This will help the po­lice and the pub­lic search for your child if he/she goes miss­ing.

Chil­dren should not leave home with­out your per­mis­sion. Very small chil­dren should play in ar­eas away from the street.

They should not wan­der off. They should avoid de­serted ar­eas, and short cuts through al­leys. It’s bet­ter to walk with friends.

Chil­dren must come straight home from school un­less other ar­range­ments have been made.

Ev­ery six hours a child goes miss­ing in South Africa, about 1 700 chil­dren are re­ported miss­ing ev­ery year. Let’s pray for the safe re­turn of all miss­ing chil­dren. Lone Hill, Sand­ton

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