On 16 May 2015 a meeting was held in the Hout Bay Community Centre (more usually referred to as the Old Bowling Club) called by Dr N Mbombo, the Minister of Health in the Provincial Government of the Western Cape (PGWC). The meeting was the third in a series called by the minister to give the communities in Hout Bay the authorities’ version of the steps that have been taken to date in respect
Missing Children Tips
Tips for Parents
- Do not wait 24 hours before reporting your child missing!!!
- Basic safety tips: know where your child is at all times, with whom they are and always make a mental note of what your child is wearing.
- Always keep a recent photograph of your child in your purse/wallet or on you cell phone. In case of an emergency, the photograph would be readily available.
- Know the names, addresses and numbers of all your child’s friends. Be cautious of every friend they make and make an effort getting to know your child’s friends.
- Be involved in your child’s live. Build a trusting relationship, but do not over-do it. Spend quality time with your children. Make your house a place where your child WANTS to be and also where he/she WANTS to bring his/her friends to. This way you will most of the time have your child right under your nose and your child will feel confident to share information with you.
- Teach your children their own names, addresses as well as your name and telephone number.
- Keep your children (especially the small ones) close to home and teach all your children to NEVER EVER walk alone, but always take a friend with them. (The Buddy System) Never ever send your children to the shop or anywhere else alone.
- Get ID bracelets or other means of identification with your phone number on it. If you do not have an ID bracelet or something similar, when you go out to public places, make sure to write your telephone number on your child’s arm or somewhere visible.
- Take your children to the nearest police station/hospital/clinic and show them how to get there.
- Point out land marks, to prevent them from getting lost. Teach them to take the same route to and from places (school, shopping centers, friend’s house). This way when your child is missing, you can start looking on the discussed route.
- Teach your children to make loud noises, to scream in order to attract attention when they are in trouble.
- Back to basics: teach them that they should not trust a stranger, should not accept anything from strangers or go anywhere with a stranger. Get a CODE WORD… when your child is approached by the stranger and the stranger does not know the CODE WORD, the child should know not to trust the person.
- Parents who allow their children to have MxIT or Facebook, get a way to monitor it. Know who your child is talking to, show you are interested, familiarise yourself with the technology, the networks, slang language and always be one step ahead.
- Teach your children emergency contact numbers
Tips for Children
- Never ever go anywhere alone. Make sure you are in a group with friends or with an adult you personally know and whom your parents trust.
- Never go anywhere without telling your parents where you are going. Make sure your parents have the phone numbers of your friends who you are with. Always let your parents know if your plans change.
- Learn your parents’ telephone numbers off by heart. And your mom’s and dad’s name and surname. Also learn an aunt’s or uncle’s number in case you can’t get hold of your parents.
- Don’t go to places that you don’t know. If you get lost in a shopping centre, (or anywhere else) go to the security immediately and ask for help. Don’t try to look for your parents yourself… get help!
- Don’t go with people you don’t trust. Don’t go to public toilets on your own. Go with friends or with your parents.
- Don’t take sweets, money, gifts or cool drinks – don’t take anything – from strangers.
- Don’t accept lifts from strangers. Never ever get into a stranger’s car or go anywhere with them.
- If someone is following you…Run!!!!!!! And scream!!!! Make loud noises!!! Rather be safe than sorry.
- Write your name on the inside of your clothes and your schoolbag. As well as your parents’ phone numbers. Never on the outside where strangers can see it.
- Don’t play in the streets alone! It is easy for a stranger to stop next to you, grab you and pull you into the car.
REMEMBER the BUDDY SYSTEM: ALWAYS take a FRIEND / BUDDY with you, WHEREVER you go! Hold onto your friend! This way you can help each other when you are in trouble – anywhere you go!!!