26MAY

10 tips on how to protect your child

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Being a parent is no easy task considering the challenges faced by the youth of today. In light of Child Protection Week, ER24 offers the following tips on what a parent can do to protect their children. 1. Get to know your children. A close relationship or bond with them will help you determine if anything is wrong. Let them know they can come to you should they need help. 2. Educate your children about the dangers they face. Discuss topics like drug use, alcohol abuse, sex and peer pressure. Seek help from professionals if need be. 3. Abuse, sexual assault, abduction and violence are some of the challenges faced by youth today. Teach children not to go anywhere alone, never to go to secluded areas or anywhere with a stranger. Even if approached by someone they know, they should obtain your permission first before going anywhere with that person. Inform them that should they feel unsafe around someone, they should try to run away and scream to get the attention of other people who may be around them. 4. A home is a place where a child should feel safe and loved. Ensure a healthy family environment. Remember that children watch you. Set a good example. 5. Never leave children unattended or in an unsafe environment. If your children are left in the care of someone else while you are at work for example, ensure the person can be trusted. If in doubt, find an alternative. 6. Ensure your children know their names, your name and who to contact in case of an emergency when they are of age. 7. Teach your children about responsibility. Put reasonable rules in place but also remember not to be overprotective. 8. Pay attention to them, listen to them, spend time with them and let them know that you care. Be involved in your child’s life. Find out what their interests are and support them where necessary. Remember that your child and their wellbeing is your number one priority. 9. Pay attention to changes in personality or attitude. This could be a signal that something is wrong. 10. Teach children about the use of social media, the internet and cellular phones. They should be made aware of the dangers and rules should be put in place to prevent them being exposed to predators.

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