NEWS FLASH: Get the latest, official Coronavirus (COVID-19) news from the South African Government at

Nurture their freedom to be

Home » Parenting » Healthy Living » 5 Ways to Protect Your Family From Child Abuse

5 Ways to Protect Your Family From Child Abuse

Protect your Children against Child Abuse

In an ideal world, children would be able to grow and learn without other people posing any danger, but because child abuse is a reality it is important to take measures to protect your child. Being informed and taking every precaution to keep your child safe minimises the risk of abduction and traumatising mistreatment.

5 ways to keep your children safe

There are measures you can take to safeguard against exploitation:

Teach ‘stranger danger’

Teach your child to not be too trusting with strangers. Tell your children to:

  • Never enter a stranger’s car alone or with a friend
  • Never go somewhere secluded or away from guardians with a stranger
  • Never let someone insist on sworn secrecy

Also teach your child safety in numbers (staying close to friends) and to always let you know where they are.

Create your own safe world

  • Never leave children (especially younger children) alone unsupervised
  • Make sure your child knows to keep doors locked while home alone
  • Have your children learn your cellphone number and their home number and address
  • Don’t let your children wear name tags in public – suspicious characters can use children’s names to establish a false sense of trust
  • Use code words – if you send close friends to fetch children from school, have your child ask the code word before accompanying them
  • Show your child safe zones are in your neighbourhood (such as police stations and good neighbours)


Be watchful

  • Be attentive to your child’s daily life and any mention of unknown strangers
  • Keeping vigilant in public places will help you spot suspicious characters sooner – predators plan
  • Monitor your child’s internet use, as predators often groom kids online for exploitation


Be prepared

  • Keep emergency numbers accessible, including the number for the nearest police station where you can report missing people
  • Make sure you have up-to-date photographs of your children taken from multiple sides

Protect your children by teaching self-protection

  • Teach your children how to refuse anyone asking them to do something unfamiliar they don’t want to do
  • Also teach that adults don’t ask children for help or to accompany them somewhere else and should never touch children in certain ways
  • Teach that it is completely acceptable to say no, without worrying about being impolite

Keep a line of communication open so that your kids can raise any issues when they feel the need to.