As we say good bye to the school year, the greatest fear is what children will be doing during the Summer holidays.
As the warm summer days begin, it is important for parents to prioritize the well-being of their little ones.
The Western Cape Department of Social Development is appealing to the public to prioritize the safety of children especially families who plan to venture out and spend time away at the beaches, go on hikes or participate in any outdoor activities.
Spokesperson to the Minister of Social Development Cayla Ann Tomás Murray said the crime rate continues to increase dramatically during the festive period.
“Cases such as missing children and child abandonment are often reported, and parents are urged to take certain precautions to know the whereabouts of their children over the festive season,” she said.
Murray said Missing Children SA does an annual report on the number of missing children.
“Recent statics shows that between 1 May 2017 and 30 April 2018, 124 children were reported missing in South Africa and of these only 94 of the children were found,” said Murray.
Murray added the responsibility of educating children about their personal safety falls upon the parent.
“Children should be taught about strangers and sharing personal information, hence, the information and activities posted on social media,” she said.
Murray stressed that contact numbers such as the local police department, Emergency Medical Services and any trusted member in the community, should be saved on their cellphones.
Authorities have confirmed that there is no waiting period to report a child missing.
“If a child goes missing one should report the incident to police immediately. The longer one waits, the less likely it is for the child to be found.”
Sania Kamaar / VOC