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JIS News

Children’s Advocate, Mary Clarke has called on parents and guardians to keep their children safe during the festive season.
Speaking with JIS News, Mrs. Clarke noted that every year around this time, many families are saddened because of the loss of or injury to children due to unexplained and unexpected circumstances.
“I am appealing to families to make every effort to keep their children safe this holiday season. Watch over them, protect them and do not leave them at home alone,” she advised.
She called on parents to ensure that items that can cause fires are kept out of the reach of children. These include candles, lighters, mosquito coils, kerosene lamps, electrical appliances, and Christmas tree decorations.
She noted that while children are always eager to assist with food preparation, parents should ensure that they are not left unsupervised in the kitchen and are kept away from the stove.
For parents, who have to work while their children are on break from school, the Children’s Advocate advised: “Know where your children are at every minute of the day. Know who they are with and what they are doing. I know it is a busy time for family members and caregivers, but do not let our busyness cause one child to suffer.”
Meanwhile, she warned parents to desist from sending their children on the road to beg or to sell. “This is illegal and parents must remember that they have an obligation to protect and provide for their children,” she stated.
Noting that the season provides an excellent opportunity for parents to teach their children lifelong values, the Children’s Advocate said: “It is a season of loving and sharing, so as parents, let us demonstrate to our children, how we can be loving and caring by our example.”
She suggested that parents can teach their children how to give to the less fortunate by visiting a child care institution, hospital or golden age home.
“Many children have gifts they will never use or far too many gifts. Use this as an opportunity to teach the children to be aware of those around them who are less fortunate and to give to them,” she added.