With less supervision during the July/August period when children are off from school they can be vulnerable to accidents, harm and abuse.
The reminder comes from the Children’s Authority as it urged parents and guardians to ensure children are safe from abuse and other forms of harm.
The Authority encouraged adults to make suitable arrangements for the supervision of children during the school vacation.
The children’s body noted that holiday and sporting camps provide excellent vacation activities, but advised that adults ask organisers about safety measures being implemented to keep children safe from abuse.
The Authority said teaching children how to protect themselves from abuse is important.
Adults should also keep an open line of communication, so children feel comfortable disclosing any incidents that may have occurred.
The Authority shared that it’s noted over the past seven years more than 70 per cent of the reports received fall within the categories of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. Children under the age of 13 were found to be the most vulnerable.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to be mindful of the following, as they seek to keep their children safe:
• Teach children Ok and Not Ok touches and that their body is their own and no one has a right to touch their body.
• Teach children that it’s okay to say “no” to unwanted hugs, kisses, or other affection, even from family members.
• Know who is supervising your child.
• Ask about sleeping arrangements and who frequents the household, when children are spending time away from home.
• Be aware of your child’s online activity.
• Monitor your child’s friendships, especially with adults who repeatedly attempt to spend time alone with your child, away from others.
• Utilise non-physical forms of discipline to reduce incidents of physical abuse.
• Keep a watchful eye on children at the beach, river and pool, and secure open containers of water at home.
• Teach children about road safety.
• Ensure that potential hazards at home are well-stored and kept out of the reach of children.
• Remind children of emergency contact numbers and what should be done in case of an emergency.
• Safely participate in the various fun and sporting activities offered for children during the vacation time!
For more tips, visit the Authority’s Facebook page or contact the National Family Services Division, Ministry of Social Development and Family Services at 623-2608 ext. 6701 to 6711.
The Authority reminded the public that “child protection is everybody’s business.”
The children’s body encouraged people to report any incident or suspicion of abuse to the Police at 999 or the Authority at 996.
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