Holidays present safety challenges for parents, especially those who are working. Arranging childcare and managing work-life balance is difficult and often expensive. When parents are at home, it can be tough to keep children safe and entertained, especially during the rainy season when the weather is more unpredictable and going out is more difficult.
Mrs Adaeze Obinna, a school teacher based in Lagos state shares with kiddiesafricanews some tips that would help keep children safe while they are home on holiday.
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Teach the children vital personal information about you
- Parents must teach their children their personal information in case of an emergency
Your children should know your full name, address and phone number. They also need to know what number to call during an emergency. Ensure they know the name of some trusted family members that they can reach out to for help when the need arises.
- Teach your children not to talk to strangers
It is imperative that parents of toddlers aged two and above teach their children about the dangers of talking to strangers. They should never go anywhere with anyone they are unfamiliar with without first seeking and getting their parent’s permission.
- Report suspicious-looking people
Parents and children alike should report any suspicious-looking persons lurking around their home, around children’s playground immediately, especially if they are not accompanied by any children.
- Give your children specific instructions before leaving home.
Tell your children not to listen to anyone you did not inform them would be coming home. If any stranger persists in coming to check on them, they should shout for help and also call emergency the numbers you have given them.
- Discuss age-appropriate safety issues with your children.
Discuss age-appropriate safety issues with your child in a calm, non-fearful manner. Replace the word strangers with tricky people. Let your children know that it isn’t what people look like that makes them unsafe.
It’s what they ask a child to do that makes someone bad. Explain this to them so that they can understand that somebody who seems good and nice might be a bad person. Some children leave with a stranger because he seemed nice or she didn’t look like a stranger.
- Teach your children not to accept gifts from strangers.
Constantly drum it into your children’s ears not to accept gifts from strangers, neighbours and family friends when you are not around. Some sexual predators use this period to groom their potential victims by giving them gifts and warning them not to tell their parents.