Tips to keep your children safe this festive season

Tips to keep your children safe this festive season

The festive season is upon us and with most schools closed for 2016, children are enjoying the holidays.

Children playing
Getty Images

ER24 are urging parents and guardians to ensure that they pay attention to the safety of their children this festive season. 

"It is easy to 'become lost' in the planning, shopping and need to make this a festive season to remember, however, parents and guardians have to be alert at all times," says ER24's Chitra Bodasing Harduth.

Here are some tips to keep children safe: 

1.  Shopping centres are busy at this time of year. While you may be in a rush to complete your shopping, you must be vigilant at all times. If you take your children to a shopping centre, ensure you keep a close eye on them. Do not, under any circumstances, leave them in the vehicle. 

2.  If you are working this festive season, ensure someone you trust is looking after your children. Leaving children, especially young ones, at home without supervision is risky. 

3.  Teach children not to accept anything from, to talk to or go anywhere with strangers. Inform them that should they be approached by a stranger or feel unsafe around someone known to them, they should run away and scream to get the attention of people in the area. Also teach them never to go to secluded areas. 

4.  Ensure your children know your name, their name and surname as well as their address when they are of age. They should be informed that these details are not to be given to strangers but instead, to people of authority such as police officers or lifeguards for example. Teach children emergency numbers and what to do in emergency situations as well. 

5.  If you have a pool, ensure it is covered with a pool net. Remember that all it takes is a few seconds for a child to wander off and fall into a pool. If you do not have a fence around the pool, it is a good idea to install one. The festive season is one of the busiest times of the year at the beach. Ensure you or someone you trust is supervising your children at all times. Do not let them wander off. 

6.  If you are going sightseeing or to any other attractions, ensure you research the area. Consider your children and determine if it is an appropriate place for them. If you decide to go and to take your children, ensure you keep a close eye on them.

7.  Remember to restrain children appropriately in a vehicle. Remember that children will want to stand and move around in a vehicle but you have to be stern enough to say no.  

8.  If you are having a braai, keep children a safe distance away. Do not let them play around the area. Also teach them about the danger of playing with matches and lighters. 

9.  If your child goes missing, report it to the police. Give authorities as much information about your child as possible.  

10.  Parents must have a close and open relationship with children. Children should feel comfortable telling you where they are going and with whom. Children should be informed about the need to let you know where they are going to. 

11.  Youngsters should be made aware of the dangers of consuming alcohol, the dangers of driving under the influence, driving without a licence as well as the dangers of using drugs. Girls should also be made aware that they should not accept drinks from strangers and should always be careful when at parties for example.

Show's Stories