Child safety over the December holidays

Mpumelo Dyani, Khonaye Keps and friends are having a creative time with buckets and spades on Fish Hoek Beach.
As many of us begin our summer holidays, it is essential that we prioritise the safety of our children and every precaution must be taken to protect them during this period, says Social Development MEC Albert Fritz.
Over the December holidays, there are often reported cases of missing children and child abandonment, and parents are, therefore, advised to take precautions over the break, he adds. 

“Your child must be taught to always keep all entrances and gates closed and locked, and that nobody is allowed to enter without permission from either parent. If you have a home security system installed, teach them how to activate and deactivate it, and to use other security devices like panic buttons.
“Your children should also have a list of emergency contact numbers saved on their cellphones and available at home near the telephone or on the fridge. These numbers should include the local police station, emergency medical service, the emergency number for your neighbourhood watch, a trusted neighbour, and your private security company,” says Mr Fritz.
“Before visiting public spaces such as shopping malls, your children should know their vital information, including full names, home address and the contact details of one of their parents.”

In addition, children should be taught about:

Stranger danger and sharing sensitive information, particularly over social media;

An evacuation plan in case there is an emergency at home;

Cooking and using kitchen appliances safely; and

To stay with groups when out with friends