National Child Protection week is celebrated annually from the 27th of May to the 2nd of June. The purpose of the week is to raise awareness of the rights of children, as articulated in the Children’s Act of 2005. Section 28(1)(d) of the Bill of Rights states that children should “be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.” All children have the right to protection and the right to survive, to belong, to be safe and to grow up in a protective environment.
As a PingMe parent, you also have the right to know ways to keep your children safe, right now, Here are our top tips:
Continuous Safety Education for You and Your Kids
An important solution to promoting child safety is in education. We all need to be educated on ways to keep our children safe, as well as how to create a safe environment in which our children can safely play. Children don’t understand danger, which makes it vital to having conversations with them on what could potentially be dangerous. Children are amazingly creative and naturally curious, they want to explore and investigate the world around them. As parents, it is important to remember not to be complacent at home, since there are many dangers lurking - both seen and unseen.
Conversations with your children can include: making them aware of potential dangers or threats, as well as explaining to them how to get themselves out of tricky situations, should they find themselves in one.
Watch Them Like A Hawk!
So many parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles have stories of losing their kids (albeit briefly) in a shopping mall or at the playground. Children can disappear in the blink of an eye. Most of the time their disappearance is harmless, and is just due to their curiosity: they’ve gone off to explore the toy aisle, or they’re hiding behind the jungle gym. However, we can never be too safe.
Supervision of children must be active; in other words, parents must constantly pay attention to their children and be within reach. Being within reach of your child ensures that you are able to prevent your child from doing something that could potentially cause an accident. By being active in your supervision, you are able to spend valuable time with your child as they explore their environment and it also shows you what they are capable of doing and how mobile they are - this is important because it shows parents what action they must take now in order to help prevent an accident from occurring. Parents must remember that supervision is not an isolated activity; it is made more effective by knowing what their child is capable of, providing a safe space in which they can play, using appropriate toys and play equipment and setting safety rules.
Prioritise Car Seats and Buckling Up
According to statistics, the three main causes of child deaths are motor vehicle accidents, burns and drowning. Annually, 8 000 children between the ages of 1 and 14 years pass away due to unintentional injuries which could have been prevented. It is also estimated that a child in South Africa is about 25 more times likely to be admitted to hospital than a child in the UK.
If there is one thing you should always make sure of it is this: ensure that when they travel in a car, your kids are always secure in a car seat specific to their age, or buckled up securely in the back seat. Just do it. Here at PingMe, we don’t like to tell parents how they should raise their kids (because every family is different), but this is one point we won’t stand down on.
The costs to society for childhood injuries are enormous. These include health care costs, loss of parent productivity while parents worry about and care for their child, and strains on schools. There is also the loss to society of unfulfilled future contributions by children who suffer fatal or brain damaging injuries. This also affects the quality of life these children have, as well as the extra stress on you as the parent.
Keep Your Family Close
For children, a family is the first line of protection. A family is responsible for building a protective and loving home environment. Schools and communities are responsible for building a child-friendly environment outside the home. All three should ensure that children are protected so they can survive, grow, learn and develop their fullest potential.