Home > Our children > Child Protection Week


The South African Police Service (SAPS), would like to share some tips to make sure your children are kept safe.

  1. Make sure your child knows their full name(s) and age.
  2. Make sure your child is familiar with your home address and telephone/cellphone number.
  3. Make sure when your children are home alone and an unfamiliar person calls, that they say you are home, but busy to take the call.
  4. Teach your children to end any telephone call with a stranger quickly.
  5. Teach your children to avoid opening the door for strangers. If a stranger is at the door, teach your children to tell the stranger that you are busy and he/she should come back later.
  6. Teach your children the emergency numbers such as the police’s or a trusted neighbour’s.
  7. If it is at all possible, children should play and walk with other children.
  8. Children should always ask your permission before accepting gifts from strangers.
  9. Children should be taught to avoid unsupervised play areas, empty lots, abandoned buildings and bushy areas at parks or riverbeds.
  10. The SAPS advises children to run home from places such as school or a friend’s house if they feel like they are being followed.
  11. Children must know that adults, especially strangers, rarely ask children for help to find things or for directions. Explain to your child that men and women are strangers.
  12. Children must know that if they become separated from their parents in a store or shopping mall, they must go to a store employee or cashier for help immediately.
  13. Parents must know where their children are at all times; know their children’s friends and be clear about places and homes they may visit.
  14. Never leave children unattended in a vehicle, whether it is running or not.
  15. Pay attention if your children tell you they do not want to be with someone or do not want to go somewhere.
  16. Take note when anyone shows your child a great deal of attention or starts giving gifts. Ask your child about the person and find out why that person is behaving that way.
  17. Teach your child that they have the right to reject any unwelcome, uncomfortable or confusing actions by others.
  18. Be sensitive to any changes in your child’s behaviour or attitude. Encourage open communication and learn how to be an active listener. If your child tells you about problems, try to stay calm; be reassuring and non-judgemental. Work with the child to get help to resolve the problem.
  19. The SAPS advises parents to practice basic safety skills with your child.
  20. Do not let your child wear clothing or carry items that bear their names in public. It makes it too easy for a stranger to approach them.
  21. Parents should also develop code words with their children. For instance, the code should be used to verify that a third party has been authorised by the parent to pick up the child from school or friend’s place. The child should be taught to always ask for this code and never go with anyone who does not know the code.


One can never fully protect a child against bullying, but she provided a few tips on how to empower a child against bullying:

  1. Model compassionate and respectful relationships from toddler stage. The most effective way of protecting children from being bullied and from becoming bullies, is to make sure they grow up in loving relationships, rather than relationships in which power or force are used to control them.
  2.  Be a child’s go-to person (confidant). Make sure children always feel safe and free to tell about events with the other parent or sibling(s) at school, at sporting events or even at home.
  3.  Stay connected to a child through thick and thin. Lonely children are more likely to be bullied. Keep lines of communication open, no matter what.
  4.  Supervise electronic communication, such as the internet, social networking and text messages. Understand cyber bullying where children may feel helpless against what is being said or shown in pictures about them online.
  5.  Help a child think of ways to react to possible bullying, such as them being teased about wearing glasses. Perhaps there is a phrase or word they can utter to make the other person think twice about making comments like that in future.
  6. Coach a child to handle teasing. Bully attacks start with verbal harassment. The manner in which the victim responds to the first verbal aggression, determines whether the bully continues to target the particular child.
  7.  Teach a child respectful self-assertion. Children need to know they can get their needs met by being respectful. Build inner confidence. Teach a child how to stand up for themselves.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *