Kidnappings And Child Safety
As everyone anticipates the holidays, it’s crucial to remember that it’s a time for accidents, injuries, and related safety hazards for everyone, especially children. If you are like most parents, you likely spend a lot of time worrying about the safety of your kids. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can increase your alertness as the school holidays and festivities draw closer.
It’s essential to teach your kids how to stay safe, especially in busy surroundings. Read on to find out about safety tips you can follow to prevent kidnappings and improve your child’s safety these holidays.
The Rise of Kidnappings in South Africa
Abductions and kidnappings have become a widespread occurrence across the country. Children are the most vulnerable group of victims. Reports of missing children have increased drastically over the years, with some, like Amahle Thabethe, never returning home to their loved ones.
In 2022, it was reported that kidnappings reached an alarming high of more than 1000 cases per month. While money remains the motivator as ransoms are demanded, there are instances where the reason behind the traumatic nature of these crimes is unknown. Parents and guardians must stay vigilant and improve the safety of their children.
Safety Tips to Reduce the Risk of Kidnappings
Research suggests that many kidnapped children are taken by someone they know or who has relations with their parents, and they usually involve careful planning. What can seem like an ordinary interaction can turn into a devastating event for children and parents. It’s essential to follow these tips to enhance your children’s safety:
Learning to communicate with your children can be helpful in the long run. They should trust you when they need someone to share uncomfortable things with. Most importantly, they should be comfortable to inform you of anyone who displays suspicious behaviour.
Most people know the dangers of talking to strangers or allowing them to come to your home. Children don’t always understand this rule unless parents emphasise the dangers of talking to strangers and teaching children the difference between awkward interactions and sometimes requiring help from a stranger. Teach them to understand situations and how to react when they encounter specific and uncomfortable scenarios.
Learn to Call Emergency Services
Don’t be under the impression that your children are too young to learn about police safety and related emergency services awareness. They should know which numbers to call and how to report dangerous situations when they happen. You can teach them how to use the iER App, for instance, to access emergency features like the silent alert and panic button icons if they fear their surroundings.
Avoid Unfamiliar Surroundings
If your children are old enough to go to places on their own, you should remind them of reasons why they shouldn’t go to dangerous locations. Some spots can be unsafe, and not knowing how to navigate them can worsen situations. Teach them about the risks of unfamiliar surroundings.
Discuss Public Safety
At some point, you will have to plan outdoor activities to keep your kids entertained. At home, it’s easier to ensure their safety. In public, it could be unfamiliar territory, and you should remain vigilant and prepare for the unexpected.
In summary, children are always vulnerable to many dangerous situations. It’s up to adults around them to ensure their safety. Being proactive and teaching your children about safety protocols when you are in unfamiliar surroundings, especially during the holidays, is one of the ways you can help prevent harmful situations.
Download the FREE iER App to enhance the safety of your loved ones no matter where you are. Our nationwide network of more than 14,000 emergency services. Emergency service providers are just a tap away if your child’s safety has been compromised.