#childsafety | Back to School Safety tips from the SAPS

Johannesburg- With many children returning to school tomorrow, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has cautioned parents to stay vigilant at all times.

To help keep children safe from going off with strangers they have also urged parents to teach their children code words.

They said this family password for emergencies can alleviate fear and also possibly an escape from a potentially dangerous situation.

When sending, another adult to pick up the child or asking your child to open your home’s door – the password must be given first.

The police said to teach your child to ask for the code word when approached by someone they do not know.

You can also give them a code word that they can use when they are feeling unsafe. This can be used at home, when there are guests in the house or when they are on a play date or a sleepover.

The most important thing to remember here is to raise their awareness and teach them to be cautious. A family password will help children to learn that they can.

They also advised parents not to write their children’s names on their school bags, where it’s visible for predators to see.

“Adults who prey on children have tricks to gain a child’s trust and one of these tricks is calling a child by his or her name.

It is often difficult for children to separate strangers from acquaintances, and even good guys from the bad guys. If an adult comes up to them and says their name, it may make the child think the person must be someone they know or their parent knows. This makes the child think it is okay to talk to this adult. A much better idea is to write your phone number instead — this will prove helpful if anything gets lost or stolen, reads the statement by the SAPS.

For more education news from Sunday World, click here.

Somaya Stockenstroom

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