Right now is a cru­cial time to pro­tect all of our chil­dren

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The Advertiser - - NEWS - DR JANE ED­WARDS

MOST South Aus­tralians will think back to their child­hood with fond mem­o­ries. But child­hood isn’t al­ways a happy time for ev­ery­one.

For some chil­dren and young peo­ple, home is not a safe space and the mea­sures that aim to stop the spread of COVID-19 could make it harder for chil­dren to speak out about abuse and ne­glect.

So­cial dis­tanc­ing and isoChild

Prospect Coun­cil’s in­fra­struc­ture and en­vi­ron­ment di­rec­tor Si­mon Bradley said while play­grounds were cleaned reg­u­larly, it was vi­tal that vis­i­tors took their own ac­tion to stay safe.

“In the cur­rent en­vi­ron­ment, peo­ple may wish to bring their own sani­tis­ers and an­ti­sep­tic wipes to wipe hands and any equip­ment be­fore us­ing it,” Mr Bradley said.

Charles Sturt Coun­cil re­opened all of its 150 play­grounds on Sun­day.

Sal­is­bury Coun­cil has al­ready re­opened its un­fenced la­tion are dis­rup­tive for all chil­dren, but for those suf­fer­ing abuse and ne­glect, the mea­sures bring a higher risk to their safety and well­be­ing.

In the ab­sence of sports teams, so­cial clubs and play dates, these young peo­ple may have no one to turn to if they are un­safe at home.

It is vi­tal that we lis­ten to and be­lieve chil­dren when they say they are scared or feel­ing un­safe.

It is more im­por­tant than ever that we work to­gether to pro­tect all chil­dren in our com­mu­nity. play ar­eas and its en­closed play­grounds will re­open later this week.

Sal­is­bury Mayor Gillian Aldridge said the coun­cil would con­tinue with its sched­uled clean­ing pro­gram, but would not be re­spon­si­ble for sani­tis­ing equip­ment.

Nor­wood, Payne­ham & St Peters Mayor Robert Bria said staff were just as ex­cited as the coun­cil’s youngest cit­i­zens that play­grounds were no longer off lim­its.

“In or­der to pro­tect the on­go­ing health and well­be­ing of chil­dren and their par­ents and

abuse and ne­glect is a very com­plex is­sue, but there are warn­ing signs that you can look out for.

You might no­tice un­ex­plained changes in their per­car­ers, the coun­cil is care­fully plan­ning and pre­par­ing a re­open­ing strat­egy which will in­clude the clean­ing of play­grounds to en­sure a safe en­vi­ron­ment” Mr Bria said.

Hold­fast Bay Coun­cil has started re­open­ing play ar­eas but the Glenelg Fore­shore and John Miller Re­serve play­grounds will re­main closed un­til main­te­nance is com­pleted.

Port Ade­laide En­field Mayor Claire Boan said while her coun­cil was re­open­ing its 126 play­grounds, it was seek­ing more clar­ity around the re­quire­ment for clean­ing. son­al­ity or be­hav­iour, or they have be­come an­gry or anx­ious and with­drawn.

They might dis­play knowl­edge of adult is­sues that are in­ap­pro­pri­ate for their age.

You might no­tice in­juries on ba­bies which they couldn’t have caused to them­selves and un­usual bruises and in­juries on older chil­dren that don’t look like they are from ac­ci­dents.

These signs don’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that a child is be­ing abused, there could be other things hap­pen­ing in their life which are af­fect­ing their be­hav­iour, but there are pro­fes­sion­als

Woodville South res­i­dent Tara O’Kelly and her chil­dren Har­vey, 8, and Daisy, 6, are ex­cited their lo­cal play­ground at St Clair Recre­ation Cen­tre has re­opened.

“It feels great know­ing the kids can run around and play and get some sun­shine at their favourite play­ground,” Ms O’Kelly said.

“I think it’s a great thing the re­stric­tions are start­ing to ease.

“It’ll help the kids re­alise that life is still nor­mal and they can still play and do the reg­u­lar things they used to do be­fore ev­ery­thing closed.” that can help you as­sess the sit­u­a­tion.

Child­hood shapes who we be­come, but abuse never should. If you are wor­ried about a child, even if you are un­sure, it is vi­tal you re­port your con­cerns.

It’s nor­mal to feel anx­ious or ner­vous about re­port­ing abuse or ne­glect, but it could be the first step in help­ing to pro­tect them. You can call the Child Abuse Re­port Line on 13 14 78. In an emer­gency, call 000.

And, if you are a young per­son read­ing this and some­one

The “Many peo­ple are now cur­rently choos­ing to wear a face mask as a pro­tec­tive mea­sure to help pre­vent them from con­tract­ing COVID-19.

“These may be those at higher risk of se­ri­ous ill­ness as a re­sult of in­fec­tion... or those for whom a face mask may pro­vide an added sense of se­cu­rity and pro­tec­tion.

“As SA pre­pares to ease re­stric­tions, masks may be­come the new nor­mal just as it has in a num­ber of places around the world where lock­downs are ei­ther in place or be­ing eased grad­u­ally,” she said. The com­plaints are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated, but if the mat­ters are not re­solved, Dr Vincent will re­fer them to a tri­bunal, which will re­sult in more de­tails be­ing made pub­lic. “In the cur­rent cli­mate, busi­nesses need to take rea­son­able steps to com­ply with pub­lic health mea­sures and min­imise the spread of COVID-19... It is un­fair to as­sume that be­cause they (cus­tomers) are wear­ing a mask they must be sick and that this is a valid cause for ex­clu­sion.”

Any­one fac­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion for wear­ing a mask can lodge a com­plaint through the EOC web­site.

Ad­ver­tiser. is hurt­ing you or you feel un­safe, or if be­ing at home is mak­ing you scared or up­set, you can con­tact Kids Helpline.

You can reach the free, pri­vate and con­fi­den­tial coun­selling ser­vice at any time by phon­ing 1800 55 1800.

If you don’t feel safe speak­ing on the phone, you can email on coun­sel­lor@kid­shelpline.com.au or via we­bchat at www.kid­sline.com.au

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