Parents being urged to help reduce number of missing children for carnival

While the fun and frolic will be expected, social services officials in the country are already expressing their concerns about the safety of children, both those in the parades, but especially the ones lining the streets as onlookers, with their parents.

Unfortunately, each year, a number of children go missing, albeit temporarily.

However, the Director of Probation and Child Protection, Debra Matthew, says the protection of children is high on the agenda of St. Kitts and Nevis. 

Matthew has urged parents to be vigilant in their supervision of their children, particular over the Federation’s festive season. Parents and guardians were also encouraged to place some sort of identification on their children particularly the smaller ones.

Matthew has issued her advice to parents, saying, “Pin or write your name and number on your younger children’s clothes in case they become separated from you.”

The Director further advises, “You should also ensure that your child knows your real name and not just a nickname by which you are called.  Teach your older children your phone number and address.  If your child becomes separated from you and you are not located immediately, they are usually warded at the Joseph N. France General Hospital in the case of younger children and at the Children’s Home in the case of older ones.”

Parents and guardians were advised that children should not be left by themselves or in the care of an older child and that they should know where their children are at all times.

Director Matthew also advised the general public that if children are found wandering, they should be taken to the nearest police officer or they can be taken to the stage of the function, in order for an announcement to be made for the parent or guardian to collect the child.

Additional advice includes reporting abuse or neglect to the police or Child Protection Services at 467-1279

Matthew says the rights of children to be safe and protected at all times but particularly during the Christmas and Carnival season is of necessary importance.

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