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Beware of vacation child abuse

SEAN DOUGLAS Thursday, December 22 2016

THE Children’s Authority, in a statement yesterday, urged parents to keep their children safe during the Christmas holidays, a time when youngsters could face abuse.

“It has been shown that children are particularly vulnerable to abuse during school vacation and long weekends, as this may provide perpetrators with increased opportunities,” said the Authority.

With the closure of schools, parents must ensure that trusted adults supervise their children at all times. The Authority advised parents to keep an open communication with their children, who must feel comfortable reporting any incidents or concerns.

The public is urged to contact the police at 999 or the Children’s Authority at 996 or 800-2014 if they suspect a child is in danger. This includes if a child is being ill-treated, neglected or abandoned; appears to be homeless or roaming the streets; is begging; or is in the company of a criminal.

The Authority offered tips to observe for the protection of children over the holidays: Teach children what is an appropriate touch versus an inappropriate touch, and tell them to never keep inappropriate touching a secret.

Children should always be supervised by an adult, not by other children.

Get to know the adults and other children with whom your child interacts.

“Be aware that there are adults who attempt to befriend a child with the intention of later engaging the child in sexual activity,” warned the Authority.

“Make time to talk to children about their day and listen to their concerns about an adult who interacts with them. Also pay attention to your child’s behavioural changes like mood, sleeping and eating habits, which may indicate some type of abuse.” The Authority urged parents to speak to children about safely surfing the internet and, if necessary, use parental controls to protect children from inappropriate content online.



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