Due to the internet it is so easy to share pictures of our kids, of days out and when they have started school and birthdays, but it is also important to be vigilant .
With Ipads and Tablets they can share anything they want to, but the other side of it , is that you have no idea who is reading and seeing that information, because Peodophiles thrive on pictures of naked pictures of kids, and this is why I never share pictures of my son naked in case the pictures ends up in the wrong hands.
I want help stop child abuse because it wrecks their childhood and to keep our kids safe, we must be aware of what content they watch, who they speak to and do they stop watching something when you walk into their room. When abusers target kids it is for one reason because they can and they will.
My first tip is:
- Monitor what your child looks at and there are settings you can put on your child’s tablet and iPad, parental lock on certain sites, same with TV’s and computers/laptops
I remember there was a guy who lived in the New Croft Estate that would watch pornagraphy and would make his kids watch it. I know this because my brother would hang out with his son’s and saw it for himself.
2. Get to know other parents well enough before allowing them to go to their friends for a playdate and if you do run a sports or children’s club to always do a CRB check first on volunteer helpers and make sure they have an up to date DBS.
They can put their DBS on an update service, which shows that their DBS is up to date.
When your DBS expires then you do have to have a new one when working with children.
Going on my experience though these channels don’t stop adults from abusing but it will help you see if they have any passed convictions or not.
When looking after children it is your responsibility to keep them safe and I remember when running a kids football team, one of the boys wondered off and so I told him off to the point I did make him cry because they were my responsibility as a football coach and I didn’t want any of the kids going missing whilst I was in charge, as that is something I didn’t want on my conscious.
3. The one thing I did when we had a match is made a substitute area so they could have a kickabout and keep warm whilst the game was playing and had one of the kids parents watch them whilst I coached the team on the pitch, and I would say to do this all the time, and make them wear bright coloured bibs whilst not playing as if they do wonder off they can be easily seen.
I would say to do this when taking your kids out of the day too, wearing bright coloured clothing but also if they still walking without knowledge of where they going have them wear reins just until they learn about their whereabouts.
4. If you run a kids club of any kind make sure you’re wearing bright coloured bibs or t-shirts too so they know who is supervising the club and an ID badge with their name and role within the club.
To help with child abuse if a child reports abuse or you notice abuse may be taking place, have a Safeguarding officer within the club, who will be specifically there to help kids stop the abuse and to make sure those responsible are investigated and the report is given to the Police aswell.
Also you can seek advice from Childline, NSPCC, Barnardo’s and your local authority.
5. When taking kids to the toilet always have them remove their clothing themselves if they can and make sure if you are in a children’s setting like a nursery you have trained staff who can change nappies safely following hygiene rules and no touching of their private areas, and if you see any bruising near these areas that this is reported immediately.
Do make sure if they have any soiled underwear that this is changed and clothing is washed above 40 degrees to make sure they are thoroughly cleaned and germs are removed.
6. To stop intruders coming into a kids club, school or nursery have a system like having a parent give a password that only the parents and you know, for picking up children if it isn’t you the parent or carer, and make sure keep a register of the children and their guardians.
I remember running a football team and the lady organizing the club didn’t tell the parent that I would be coaching the team and so when she turned up had no idea of who I was and was expecting to me the male coach.
Always communicate with you club volunteers and helpers of who will be attending the club and who will not be for health and safety and in case of a fire.
7. Do a medical form if they are doing sport so they can give you details if they have any medical conditions that could effect them from participating and that they give you an emergency number.
Never pass on any child’s personal information and all subs or fees are taken in and kept safe to bank, and make sure the name of the child and parent is named, and the best way to do this is a letter with fee and have a strip that they can cut to hand in, and that they have a copy of what they have paid to them too.
8. If you are a child minder then make sure you register as a childminder and that your home is checked by Ofsted and that you get to know the child first, and chat with the parents before looking after a child.
Take note of when they usually have their nap and of when they need feeding and changed.
9. When a visitor does check your club or organisation that they fill in a visitors book and they to are given an ID badge and you check their ID.
Always do a risk assessment of venues for health and safety, for any potential hazards.
10. Make sure when using equipment that it has been cleaned and that no doors or corridors are blocked and that you lock equipment away and you are aware of where the fire exits are and assembly points.
I remember when at Butlin holiday camp they did a fire test in the restaurants, and the new staff we had there had no idea of what the fire alarm sounded like and do when it went off they stood around not knowing what to do.
All volunteers, children and parents should be made aware of the fire safety rules and what the alarm sounds like and where to find the vacuation point is, and mark everyone on the register in case there is someone stuck in there.
All tower blocks should have a sprinkler system, a fire escape and an alarm fitted, and don’t stay inside evacuate immediately.
Keeping our kids safe should be top priority and so do make sure you take note of these tips and advice to protect you and your children.
Many thanks for reading,