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Here’s How we Can Work Together to Protect our Children This Carnival Season

by Lou-Ann Jordan Feb 1, 2023

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Carnival is a highly anticipated time of the year. 

From the colourful and intricately designed creations of our mas men to the frenzied hands of players in a pan band beating the latest soca hit–Trinbagonians love their carnival.  Many people have been anticipating the fetes, boat rides, and, most notably, “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 these few days, some take a break from all responsibilities.

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!

Remember, child protection requires a collaborative effort. So, whether parents, guardians, or community members, we must all get involved. 

With Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2023 upon us, here are some ways we can play our part in protecting all children.

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 children in your neighbourhood.

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.