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#childsafety | Pantosaurus to attend Cunningsburgh Show as part of NSPCC child safety campaign

A big friendly dinosaur will be attending the Cunningsburgh Show to offer advice on helping keep children safe from sexual abuse.

Youngsters will be invited to visit the NSPCC stall at the show on Wednesday, where they can have their photo taken with Pantosaurus.

There will also be free parent guides on the “Talk Pants” campaign, keyrings and bookmarks to take away.

The three winners of a school competition to design a pair of pants for Pantosaurus will also be awarded with their prizes and a copy of the Power of Pants book at the event.

The Talk Pants campaign was launched last October in the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland through a partnership between NSPCC Scotland and the islands’ protection committees.

The campaign gives parents, carers and professionals advice on how to have simple, age-appropriate conversations with children about sexual abuse.

With the help of a colourful animated character, called Pantosaurus, it helps children understand that their body belongs to them and to recognise when something is not OK and how to tell someone.

Shetland public protection committee’s lead officer Kate Gabb said: “We are so delighted to be welcoming colleagues from NSPPC and the most important visitor is Pantosaurus- who all the children will love to see and it will be great fun having him in Shetland to talk Pants

“There is a serious message to go with all the fun and that is its everyone’s job to keep all children in Shetland safe and we all have a responsibility to do that.

“Shetland public protection committee include Pants in our own Wir Ain Peerie Bodies keeping safe programme which provide a safe and enjoyable way for young children to learn about their right to be safe.

“Through the work with the NSPCC all schools in Shetland now have or will soon be receiving their own pack to for this programme.”

Since the campaign was launched, they have run workshops explaining the Talk Pants messaging with over 260 professionals including teachers, nursery workers and early years across Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

The campaign materials, which as well as guides for parents, include a British Sign Language Pants video and a Pantosaurus film.

NSPCC local campaigns manager Mubashar Khaliq said: “Each year in Scotland, Police record more than 5,000 sexual offences committed against children. It is crucial that we do all we can to help prevent abuse from happening in the first place.

“The Talk Pants campaign is about helping start difficult, but vital, conversations with children from a young age about sexual abuse and their right to be safe.

“We don’t talk about sex or use scary words but focus on keeping safe and rules that help children understand important messages, like their body belongs to them and they should tell an adult if they’re upset or worried.

“We are really looking forward to visiting Shetland and having the opportunity to share these really important messages with as many people as possible.”

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