Sunday 5 April, 2020

Child shooting prompts Authority to call for better supervision

The Children’s Authority is pleading with parents to ensure their children are supervised at all times.

This follows reports that a child was injured after allegedly playing with a firearm at home.

In a statement hours after the incident was reported, the Authority said it understands that some parents may have challenges finding responsible and trusted adults to care for their children at this time. However, it said leaving children at home unsupervised should not be an option.

The children’s body also notes that parents should utilise the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, which allow them to care for their children while schools are closed. It adds that parents have a legal responsibility to ensure the care and protection of their children.

According to the Authority, section 7 (1) of the Children Act, 2012 states: “Where a person has possession of a firearm or ammunition and fails to take reasonable precautions to guard against the risk of a child having access to the firearm or ammunition, and by reason thereof, the child has access to the firearm or ammunition and injures himself or another, that person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of fifty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for ten years”.

Parents and guardians are reminded that older children should not be given the responsibility to care for younger siblings.

Meanwhile, the Authority commends the swift action of the community and individuals who intervened to ensure the injured child received medical attention.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, contact the Authority’s hotline at 996 or the Police at 999.

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