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10 ways to keep children safe this funky season

The festive season is one that more often than not has families spend time together. Children, being part of the festivities, need to stay in-check for their safety, cites Grace Wachira

1. A talk before an outing

It is important to have a talk with your little ones before embarking on a family outing. This helps enforce rules including the need to stay visible at all times. The need to keep reminding them this may sound bothersome, but it goes a long way as far as their safety is concerned. Remind them not to leave the premise you’d be visiting incase they get lost.

2. Security persons offer help

In case they wander off and get lost, ensure they know how to identify security persons for help, as opposed to strangers. In some instances, where you have older children, agree on a common meeting place ahead of time just in case you lose touch.

3. Dress them brightly

Dressing them up in loud colours will make them easy to spot in case they go missing. Keep in mind what they would be wearing for easy identification or reporting.

4. Keep close watch 

The streets are not safe and as such, you should not leave your children under a watchful eye of strangers. Don’t treat public facilities as a ‘convenient babysitter’. Do not leave your children alone at their playing spots or other public places. Predators are known to look for unsupervised kids.

This even goes as far as taking them to the washrooms. Statistically, the men’s room isn’t the safest place for a child to use alone. If you feel comfortable letting your older child (at least nine-years-old) use the men’s room alone, stand just outside the door. 

5. The phone

Keep your phone on full-charge in case your children need to contact you. If they haven’t memorised your number, it is important that you write the numbers down and put them in a place where they can see them such as the refrigerator door while at home or write it down and have them carry them around in a bag. Also, remember to write down other emergency numbers in case they can’t get hold of you.

6. Check the rooms

When booking a room or an apartment for your outing, ask about balconies and whether they are safe for (young) children. Appropriate rooms for young children shouldn’t have wide railings that little ones would squeeze through and must be high enough that tots can’t climb over.

Upon arrival, it’s worth to check fire or emergency exits. Ensure they actually work. Remove from the room anything potentially dangerous, especially if you have toddlers on tow.

7. Keep the house locked

Tell your children to always keep the house locked and to never let in strangers. Studies have shown that most sexual assault victims know their attackers, which means you also need to be careful with family and friends who would be visiting. Tell your children to get permission from you before opening the door for relatives or friends.

8. Never leave children alone in a car

Although you might think your children are safe in a locked car, this might not be the case. The inside of a car also heats up much quicker than you’d think, and leaving the little ones in the car can be extremely dangerous. Rather be safe than sorry by taking your children along when you leave the car.

9. Childproof your house

Get rid of all harmful triggers in the house such as unplugging home appliances and keeping matchboxes at bay. Emergency responses could entail teaching them basic first aid skills such as how to respond if someone faints or gets a burn. You could also talk them through the numbers to call in case of an accident such as yours, a close relative or family friend.

10. Consider monitoring devices

In busy places such as airports or shopping malls, consider using a cute harness for toddlers who are prone to running off. Your child’s safety is most important, so don’t worry about what others think. If you will sleep in different rooms, it is important to have a baby monitor.

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