CHILD WATCH


Are your children prepared when it comes to their safety during the holidays? We have some tips to give you peace of mind.


Knowledge is power. Discuss water, road, fire and stranger-related safety with your kids as soon as they’re old enough to understand.

WATER SAFETY
Every year there are tragic cases of drowning or traumatic brain injury caused by near-drowning. The Medical Research Council lists drowning as the third-highest cause of accidental deaths in children under five in SA, after pedestrian motor-vehicle accidents and shack fires.

Even a basin or bucket of quite shallow water can be fatal if a young baby or toddler falls into it, so never leave open containers with water in them where children can find them. Don’t let kids swim at a beach that isn’t approved for swimming – strong currents can easily sweep them away. Also teach them what to do if another child is in trouble in a dam or river. Often, kids will instinctively go into the water to help but this can lead to a double tragedy. They should rather stay on the bank of the dam or river, and use clothing, a tree branch or any other object available that the child in the water can grab onto so they can be pulled to safety. If you have a pool, it should be fenced off and fitted with safety nets, and there should always be an adult present when children are near a pool.

ROAD SAFETY

Teach your children to:
  • Walk on the pavement or on the far right-hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
  • Stop and look right, left and right again before crossing a road.
  • Make sure the traffic has stopped before you cross the road at a marked pedestrian crossing.
  • Only cross when a green man appears and it is safe to do so at intersections with robots.
  • Look for a straight stretch of road where you can see clearly in both directions if there is no special place to cross.

FIRE SAFETY
  • Fires claim the lives of many children each year. To reduce the risk: 
  • Never leave candles, paraffin lamps, matches or lighters where small children can reach them. 
  • Always make sure that after a fire has been put out, the embers are completely cold and dead.
  • Never go to sleep with a candle, fire or paraffin lamp burning.
  • Teach kids about the dangers of fire and flames, and never to play with matches.

STRANGER DANGER
Here are some guidelines to help keep children safe from strangers:

  • Teach children your phone number and address, and the police and ambulance numbers, as soon as they can learn them. 
  • Have a ‘password’ that is known only to your family. Teach kids to always ask for the password if a stranger wants them to go anywhere. If a stranger tries to touch them, they should shout loudly, ‘this is not my mother!’ or ‘this is not my father!’ 
  • Tell them the correct term for their genitals, and that it’s not okay for most people to touch them there.
  • Advise that if they get lost while shopping, they should go to the place where you pay, tell the shop worker their name and wait until their caregiver/parent comes to collect them.
  • Teach them that if a stranger comes to the door when no adult is home, they should ask them to come back later.
3.5% of young men have been abused. 
Medical Research Council of SA

40 cases of child abuse are reported in South Africa each month.
Childline SA

±900 children were murdered in SA from 2015 to 2016
SA Institute of Race Relations

Jet Club members have free access to Jet Club’s helplines. For more tips and advice on child safety call the personal health advisor 0800 00 45 45 (SA & Namibia)

From Botswana, Lesotho & Swaziland, dial +2711 991 8258

IMPORTANT EMERGENCY NUMBERS – CUT OUT AND KEEP SOMEWHERE VISIBLE


SOUTH AFRICA

Police 10111
Cellphone emergency 112 (can be called from any cellphone in SA, free of charge – even if that phone has no airtime)
Ambulance/Fire response 10177
Poison Information Centre 086 155 5777

BOTSWANA
Ambulance 997
Police 999
Fire Brigade 998
Medical Rescue 911
Medical Air Rescue 390-1601

LESOTHO
Emergency Services
121 / 12

NAMIBIA
Police 10111
Fire Brigade (ambulance, accidents and injuries) 211 111
Aeromed 249 777 / 230 505
MedRescue 230 505/6/7

SWAZILAND
Emergency assistance 911
Fire 933
Police 999
CHILD WATCH CHILD WATCH Reviewed by Zandile Xabendlini on December 08, 2017 Rating: 5

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