Parents and caregivers should make the safety and security of their children a priority throughout the year, and not only give it specific attention during the school holidays.
With schools now on break for the end of the 3rd academic term, this may pose a challenge for parents who will worry about the safety of their children while they are at home for the nine day holiday.
“Nothing you ever do will ever completely remove that feeling of worry about whether or not your child is safe. But you can at least do everything you can to make sure your child knows what do when things go wrong, and what actions to avoid to try and limit harm,“ says Theunis Kotze, General Manager ADT Inland Region.
“Educating your child about the following basics will go a long way towards keeping the safe,” says Kotze.
- If your child will be home alone during the holidays, make sure they keep all doors locked and that they do not allow anyone to enter the property without permission. They must also know how to activate and de-activate any security systems you have installed, especially the panic button.
- Keep a list of important emergency telephone numbers close to your telephone, including numbers for your local SAPS station and your neighbours. If your child has their own cell phone, make sure these emergency numbers are pre-programmed in their contact list.
- If you usually drive your child to the home of a friend who lives in the same neighbourhood, rather walk the route with them before they have to do it on their own. Explain that it is better to walk a slightly longer route down familiar streets, where there is more activity, than taking short-cuts across fields or deserted areas.
- If your child has to leave the house for whatever reason, ask that they call you once they leave and again when they have arrived at their destination. Make sure they know that if they do happen to find themselves in an unfamiliar street, they should look out for a police or security officer to help them. They must never accept help from a stranger.