18 February 2015

Child Safety Is Everyone's Business

Coming from a Journalism background, I still have a strong connection with the media and am always keeping up to date with what's happening around me.

This is both a good and a bad thing!

We all know the news is not always fun and entertaining, and in recent weeks, the headlines have been dominated with reports of violence against kids.

This is a topic that always gives me an uneasy feeling, especially since I'm a mother to a 2 year old.

But even if you're not a parent, seeing and hearing about violence against kids is terrible.

The most recent case in the spotlight is that of Shahiel Sewpujun, a 9 year old boy from Phoenix, Durban, who was allegedly murdered and dumped in a manhole not far from his home.

This is a story that is close to me, both geographically and emotionally. I live in Phoenix and have heard several versions of what people say happened to Shahiel. I also feel emotionally attached as I couldn't imagine what I would do if that was my child.

Another story dominating Social Media streams this week is that of a 3 day old baby  in Gauteng who was used as a weapon to beat her mother! Yes, you read right. It is believed the woman's boyfriend assaulted her, then grabbed the baby from her back and used the baby to beat the woman. The child was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital.

Which brings me to the point of "how did we get here?"

These brutal beatings and killing of children is getting out of hand. One death is one too many!

And while we may not always be able to detect or prevent what's happening in other homes, why not begin in our own homes. 

As the headline states, child safety is everyone's business, so whether it's your own child, a niece, nephew or grandchild, here are some safety tips from Parents.com that may be helpful. 

* Make sure your child knows his or her name, address, phone number, and who to call in case of an emergency.

* Find out which websites your child visits regularly and explain the dangers of chat room "friends."

* Kids should also know to never give out personal information on online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
* Have ID-like photos taken of your child twice a year and include information about their height, weight, hair colour, eye colour and fingerprints in a file. 
* Set boundaries about the places your child can and can't go. Don't let them go to malls, movie theaters, parks or public bathrooms without adult supervision.
* Create a password for you, the kids and anyone that cares for them. Remind your child never to tell anyone the password. Teach your child not to go anywhere with someone who doesn't know the password.

Do you have any tips or routines you follow towards your child's safety?

Share it with us in comments section below :) 

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