Missing Children South Africa’s statistics sadly shows that 23% of children that goes missing in South Africa are not found. With the increasing numbers in child kidnappings, parents really need to be vigilant when visiting public places. Here is a few tips to keep your toddler safe.
How to keep your kids safe in public places?
One of the most important things to do when visiting public places is to be wary of strangers and your surroundings at all times. Identify and report suspicious activities by strangers and avoid making contact with them. Never leave your kids alone and make sure that they are always noticeable. Never expect a minors to look after your children as they also stand the risk of being kidnapped. Educate your children to be conscious about what's happening around them at all times and what they need to do when a stranger approach or grabs them. Teach them not to walk anywhere with a stranger or accept anything from them. Make sure that your name, mobile number and house address is one of the first things you toddler knows by heart. If they are to young you can always get them to wear a name bracelet with all your details on it. Make them stand out from the rest by wearing bright colourful clothing or get them to wear a whistle around their neck for them to blow whenever they feel threatened. Use a safety harness or safety link/band when taking them to a mall. You will get a few stares and perhaps a few bad comments, but keeping your child safe should be your first priority. It is important to let your kids know that if they get lost, they should stay where they are and ask for help when they see another mom or security guard. Have your keys ready when you walk to your car, so you and your kids can enter your car or residence quickly and lock your car as soon as you enter or leave it.
What can i buy to keep my kids safer?
There are a few products on the market that can definitely help you to protect your toddler from being kidnapped.
1.Safety Harness & Safety Wristband from Belle Baby
2.GPS watch for kids at Takelot
1.Safety Harness from Belle Baby
What to do if your child goes missing?
– Stay calm and try not to panic.
– Report your missing child as soon as possible.
– Contact their friends, relatives, school & neighbours, to make sure that he/she is really missing.
– Get a responsible person to stay at your premises while you’re looking for your child or at the police station. This person can give feedback if someone calls with news.
– Take a good quality and identifiable photograph of the child to the nearest police station, make sure it is one of the most recent photographs of your child.
– Give a good description of what the child was wearing, their last whereabouts and any additional information that may help the police with the search.
– You’ll have to complete a SAPS 55 (A) form which safeguards the police against false or hoax reports. This form also gives the Police permission to distribute the photo and information of the missing child.
– Get a reference number and contact name and number of the SAPS officer(s) assigned to the investigation.
– Notify the police station if your child returns home safely.
Missing Children SA advises parents to help kids memorize important numbers that may help them in the event of a crisis.
Important numbers to remember include:
– SAPS | Police: 10111
– Missing Children SA: 072 647 7464
– SAPS Crime Stop: 086 001 0111
– Childline SA: 080 005 5555
– Gender-based violence hotline: 080 042 8428
– Human Trafficking hotline: 080 022 2777