Monday 21 October, 2019

Children's Authority's Carnival message: Put children first

The Children’s Authority has issued a stern warning to parents, caregivers and guardians ahead of the Carnival season, urging them to make their children's safety their first priority, rather than get caught up in the hype.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Authority said it is aware that Carnival generates an increase in social activities, especially for adults. It said in light of this, parents ought to ensure that the necessary measures are implemented to ensure that their children are safe.

"Therefore, when making plans to attend events, parents and guardians should also make arrangements to ensure their children are safe.  The Authority adds that leaving younger children at home in the care of older children is not an option and every attempt should be made to leave children in the care of a trusting and responsible adult," the statement said.

The Children's Authority also noted that some parents may not take part in Carnival but may register their children in a camp. It, therefore, advised that parents and guardians get to know the adults and camp supervisors who will be interacting with their child and request an itinerary of events. 

The public is also reminded that child abandonment and neglect are offences that are liable to fines and imprisonment. 

Following are additional guidelines to ensure children’s safety:

1 Children should not be left unsupervised in vehicles;

2 When leaving children in the care of an adult, it should be a trusted person, however;

3 Keep open communication with your children so they feel comfortable reporting inappropriate behaviour;

4 Monitor your child’s interaction with adults who show abnormal affection towards the child;

5 Set rules for teenagers. Know where they are at all times and let them check in often when away from home;

6 Monitor children at all times when at the beach, by the river or a swimming pool. Never allow a child to go into the water alone;

7 Develop a family plan so children do not get lost.

The Authority reminds the public that child protection is everyone's business and all incidents of child abuse, abandonment and neglect should be reported to the Police at 999 or to our 24-hour hotlines at 996 or 800-2014.

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