IT TAKES A VILLAGE: Children need to be protected by all sectors of society. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu
Tips for keeping

children safe

Know the rights of children and discuss these with your family and friends.

Provide a quiet, uninterrupted time each day to ask your children about their daily activities. This will give them an opportunity to tell you about things that may be worrying them, should such a situation arise.

Never send children alone to the shop or on other errands.

Always check the references of any new babysitters, caregivers or nursery schools.

Don’t let children go to shopping malls or places of entertainment unless supervised by a responsible adult.

Remember safety in numbers: if children walk to school or use public transport, ensure that they know to go with at least one friend.

Under no circumstances leave a child waiting unattended outside school or other places.

Accompany children to toilets in public places.

When children are invited to visit or stay overnight, always get to meet the family before giving your permission.

Monitor the content of films and television programmes watched by your children and use the parental control button on the remote where available.

Make sure that your electronic devices, such as cellphones and computers, are password protected to prevent unsupervised use by children.

Introduce a house rule: no hitching of lifts or accepting lifts from strangers at any time.

Ask questions if a child starts coming home with extra money or unexplained gifts.

Let your children know they can talk to you or call Childline on 08000 55 555 if anyone should say or do anything that makes them feel embarrassed or uncomfortable in any way.