Here’s How We Can Work Together To Protect Our Children This Carnival Season
by Lou-Ann Jordan Aug 2, 2019
Carnival is a highly anticipated time of the year.
From the colourful and intricately designed creations of our mas men to the blackened bodies of the Jab Jab masqueraders—August couldn’t come soon enough. Seemingly with bated breath, some have counted down the time to the fetes, boat rides and especially ‘jumping’ the mas.
For many people, Carnival is like an oasis. It is a time to shrug off the drudgery of our nine-to-five, to place the seriousness of life on pause, and to ‘free-up’ as we abandon our inhibitions all in the name of having a good time. During those few days in August, some responsibilities are on break.
Yet, there is one responsibility that should never be placed on hold, no matter the time of year—protecting our children! They’ve been looking forward to the festivities too. However, let’s not neglect to keep them safe—to keep all of our nation’s children safe!
As the Child Protection Authority of Grenada notes, child protection requires a collaborative effort. Whether parent or community member, we must all get involved.
Here are some ways the Child Protection Authority suggests we can play our part:
WHAT SHOULD PARENTS DO?
Do not leave children unsupervised. Whether working or planning to attend an event, be sure to arrange suitable alternative care or supervision for minors.
Ensure that children attend age-appropriate events accompanied by a trusted and responsible adult.
Do not let children drink alcohol. Keep alcohol and harmful substances out of the reach of children.
Communicate with your children. Foster an open, loving relationship.
Lead by example. Speak to children about responsible behaviour.
WHAT SHOULD COMMUNITY MEMBERS DO?
Be alert. Keep a watchful eye out for community children.
Be helpful. If you notice or suspect a child might be in harm’s way, help by alerting parents or the relevant authorities.
Be protective. If you are caring for someone else’s child or children, be as protective of them as you would be of your own.
Be a mediator. Where possible, put peace to quarrels and fights involving children.
WHAT SHOULD THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY/VENDORS DO?
Do not sell alcoholic beverages and cigarettes to minors.
Do not admit minors into adult events. Request identification to clear doubts.
Do not be afraid to get involved. Offer help if you notice a child in danger. Call the relevant authorities if necessary.
WHAT SHOULD CHILDREN DO?
Keep your parents updated while you are out. Ask permission and inform your parents of where you are going before you leave the house.
Know emergency numbers and relevant information in case an emergency arises.
Be wise. Stay away from unsafe areas and situations.
Say no to drugs and alcohol.
Do not accept food or beverages from strangers.
As we enjoy the festivities of the season, let’s work together to keep all children safe this Carnival.
Have a safe Carnival from Yello and the Child Protection Authority.