Teach your children about safety

As the new school year is about to kick off and many parents have completed all the preparations by buying new uniforms, stationery and sports gear. But now is also the time to prepare your child on how to stay safe when heading to and from school.

Ivan Govender, district manager (KwaZulu-Natal) for ADT Security, said  it’s important to share safety tips with your children and to encourage them to use them every day. “For many working parents there is a lot of anxiety around getting their children to and from school and home safely.”


Here are a few tips worth sharing with children to ensure they stay safe:

· Always walk to or from school with a friend or friends. Stick to streets you know and never take short cuts through quiet areas or empty parking lots.

· If you get picked up at school, never leave the school premises but always wait inside the school-grounds for your lift to arrive.

· Never get into a stranger’s car; even if the stranger claims that someone you love is hurt and that they are supposed to pick you up. Remember that your parents would never send someone you don’t know to fetch you.

· If a stranger approaches you, don’t talk to them no matter how friendly they may seem. If someone tries to grab you, fight, kick and scream that the person is not your parent. For some families, a tight budget may mean that a domestic helper or au pair is not an option. In some cases children have to keep themselves occupied until mom and dad return home in the evening. “It is very important that children know how the alarm system and panic buttons work and when and how to use them,” said Govender.

“Also, make a list of important telephone numbers – such as the emergency services and mom and dad’s work and cell phone numbers – stick it on or near the telephone and explain when these should be used.”

“Emphasise how important it is not to let anyone into the house without your permission. If you are going to be late let your children know as soon as possible and give them an idea of when they can expect you to be home,” he added.

“Lastly, if the children are quite young, make sure that they understand that certain items in the house are dangerous and are off limits such as the stove, kettle, heaters, candles and so on,” he concluded.

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