Child Protection Week: 7 safety tips

National Child Protection Week is all about raising awareness about children’s rights and safety. In light of Child Protection Week, here are 7 safety tips you and your loved ones should always be aware of. 

Know important details

You should know important details like your full names, the area you live in, your parents’ or guardians’ full names as well as important contact numbers because these details will help you in the case of an emergency. 

Don’t talk to strangers

Your elders are not overreacting when they tell you not to speak to, or entertain, strangers. You should never go anywhere with strangers because it’s not safe. 

Don’t allow anyone to touch your body 

Just because you’re young doesn’t mean that you should allow people to touch your body without your permission. If anyone touches your body, it’s always better to always report it by telling your parent, guardian or teacher. 

Always be vigilant

We live in a world where children are always at risk, no matter where they are. You should always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings. For example, don’t be on your phone while you’re walking because you’ll be distracted and unaware of what is happening around you. 

You can also read this article to know how to spot human-trafficking. 

Never give out personal details

Unless you’re in a dangerous situation (like being lost) and the police need your details in order to help you, it’s unsafe for you to be sharing your personal details with anyone. Never give out details like your address or phone number. 

Also be careful of the details you give out on social media, you never know who is watching. Even if you form a bond with a stranger online, be careful not to give them personal details. They could be lying about who they really are. To help you be more vigilant, read my article about online safety.

Don’t eat food given to you by strangers

It’s important not to accept any food or treats (like sweets or chocolates) that you’re offered by strangers. As tempting as it may be, never accept any food from strangers.

Always walk in numbers

Have you ever heard the saying “safety in numbers?” Well, it is actually a safety tip. So, whenever you walk to – or from school, you should never walk alone. It’s safer to always be in a group. 

Getting help

The Department of Social Development has a 24-hour call centre that’s dedicated to providing support and counselling to those who need help. You can contact them on this toll-free number, 0800 428 428, to speak to a social worker, or you can dial *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.

You can also contact Childline South Africa on 0800 055 555 or Child Welfare South Africa on 086 142 4453 / 011 452 4110. 

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).