On Saturday 22 September 2018, Nicholis Ninow brutally raped a 7-year-old girl in the bathroom of the Dros restaurant in Silverton, Pretoria. On the morning of Monday, 2 September 2019, 6-year-old Amy’Leigh de Jager was kidnapped by unknown men as her mother was dropping her and her brother off at school in Vanderbijlpark. South Africa’s children are in deep trouble, and it’s imperative that everyone from the government to the parents of young children take the necessary steps to ensure that children are happy, safe and secure at all times.
Safety begins at home
As important as it may be to keep our children safe when at a restaurant or any other public space such as a school, it is equally as important to keep our children safe at home. Unfortunately, most injuries to children occur in the child’s own home. In 2011, then 3-year-old Pippie Kruger was left with third-degree burns on 85% of her body after a bottle of gel firelighter, which her dad was using at a family braai, exploded. Today, 8 years later, the entire family is still battling to come to terms with what happened. As tragic as Pippie’s accident may be, it’s comforting to know that there are many things a parent can do to protect their children from harm. When childproofing your home, look at security concerns as well as safety hazards, such as stairs and easy-to-reach cleaning materials.
Leading restaurant franchise aims to keep young patrons safe
While Ninow was recently sentenced to life in jail by Judge Mokine Mosopa, and the accused in Amy’Leigh’s kidnapping remains in custody, it is of the great importance to safeguard our children against any possible threat. One of SA’s leading family restaurants, Spur, has rolled out a new security system that will ensure the safety of all children that check into their play area. The pilot project, which was launched at a Sunninghall branch in May, has since been rolled out in a further 29 restaurants with great success.
Safe children are a top priority
The child safety system consists of Sensormatic pedestals placed at the restaurant entrances/exits, and magnetic, pinless tags that are attached to the clothes of children as they enter the play area. The tag can only be removed at the pay desk when the family leaves with the child. If the child attempts to leave the restaurant on their own accord, or with someone other than their family, an alarm will sound. The innovative technology will help tremendously to ensure the safety of children at restaurants, stores and anywhere where children’s activities take place. According to Ilze van Eck, Retail Lead at Fidelity ADT, the introduction of the project could not have come at a better time, considering what has been happening in the country of late.
Children are precious and should be kept safe from harm at all times. By being vigilant and taking extra precaution when it comes to safety, parents, teachers, restaurant owners and the general public will be able to keep the nation’s children safer than before.