Parents’ role in Child Protection

Children are our Nation’s most precious resource, but as children, they often lack the skills to protect themselves. It is our responsibility, as parents and responsible citizens, to safeguard children and to teach them the skills to be safe.

Every home and school should teach children about safety and protection measures. As a parent, you should take an active interest in your children and listen to them. Teach your children that they can be assertive in order to protect themselves against abduction and exploitation. And most importantly, make your home a place of trust and support that fulfills your child’s needs. Together we can protect our future generation by teaching them to be smart, strong, and safe.

Tips for discussing child safety

  • A parent is the best person to teach a child about personal safety.
  • Inculcate in your child effective personal safety skills, Smart Thinking and strong character.
  • Age and maturity matter. There is no perfect age when parents should begin teaching children about personal safety. A child’s ability to comprehend and practice safety skills is affected by age, educational, and developmental levels.
  • LISTEN to your children. Know your children’s daily activities and habits. Listen to what they like and what they don’t like. Encourage open communication. Let your children know they can talk to you about any situation. Reassure your children that their safety is your #1 concern.
  • TEACH your children. Set boundaries about places they may go, people they may see, and things they may do. Reinforce the importance of the “buddy system.” It’s OK to say NO – tell your children to trust their instincts.
  • Get INVOLVED Know where your children are at times. Your children should check in with you if there is a change in plans.
  • There is no substitute for your attention and supervision PRACTICE safety skills with your child. Rehearse safety skills so that they become second nature.

Tips for parents to help their children stay safe

Safety at Home

  • Children should have a trusted adult to call if they’re scared or have an emergency.
  • Choose caregiver/nanny with care. Obtain references from family, friends, and neighbours. Once you have chosen the caregiver, drop in unexpectedly to see how your children are doing. Ask your children how the experience with the caregiver was, and listen carefully to their responses.

Safety in the Neighbourhood

  • Make a list with your children of their neighbourhood boundaries, choosing significant landmarks.
  • Interact regularly with your neighbours. Tell your children whose homes they are allowed to visit.
  • Don’t drop your children off alone at fair, market places, railway stations, bus stands or parks.
  • Teach your children that adults should not approach children for help or directions. Tell your children that if they are approached by an adult, they should stay alert because this may be a “trick.”
  • Never leave children unattended in an automobile. Children should never hitchhike or approach a car when they don’t know and trust the driver.
  • Children should never go anywhere with anyone without getting your permission first.
  • Children should never go anywhere with anyone without getting your permission first.

Safety at School

  • Be careful when you put your child’s name on clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes or bicycle license plates. If a child’s name is visible, it may put them on a “first name” basis with an abductor.
  • Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help. Make a map with your children showing acceptable routes to school, using main roads and avoiding shortcuts or isolated areas. If your children take a bus, visit the bus stop with them and make sure they know which bus to take.

What to do in an emergency

Precautionary Measures: Necessary Materials

  • Keep a complete description of your child.
  • Take colour photographs of your child every six months.
  • Keep copies of your child’s fingerprints.
  • Keep a sample of your child’s DNA.
  • Know where your child’s medical records are located.
  • Have your dentist prepare and maintain dental charts for your child.

What You Should Do In Case Your Child Is Missing

  • Immediately report your child missing to your local law enforcement agency. Dial 100 to contact Police.
  • Limit access to your home until law enforcement arrives and has the opportunity to collect possible evidence.
  • Give law enforcement investigators all information you have on your child including fingerprints, photographs, complete description and the facts and circumstances related to the disappearance.

What you should do if your child is lost

  • Get Help, Contact Friends and Relatives.
  • Look in places where child hides. Think, where can he/she go.
  • Dial 100 for Police Emergency line and Dial 1098 – 24 hour for Child Help line.
  • Phone Phanchayat/Ward Representative
  • Click Here to post details on the National Tracking system for missing and vulnerable children website.

Source : National Tracking System for Missing and Vulnerable Children