The Children’s Authority of Trinidad & Tobago is urging parents, caregivers and guardians to make the safety of children their first priority during the Carnival season.
In a press release issued last Monday, the Authority said parents and guardians attend social activities during the season and therefore should make arrangements to ensure their children are safe. It warned that “leaving younger children at home in the care of older children is not an option and every attempt should be made to leave children in the care of a trusting and responsible adult”.
For those not participating in Carnival events, instead attending camps, the Authority advised parents and guardians to know the adults and camp supervisors who will be interacting with their child and request an itinerary of events.
The Authority reminded all that child abandonment and neglect are offences that are liable to fines and imprisonment and reiterated for parents and guardians “to put measures in place for the protection and care of their children”.
Additional guidelines from the Authority were: children should not be left unsupervised in vehicles; when leaving children in the care of an adult, it should be a trusted person; keep open communication with your children so they feel comfortable reporting inappropriate behaviour; monitor your child’s interaction with adults who show abnormal affection towards the child; set rules for teenagers —know where they are at all times and let them check in often when away from home; monitor children at all times when at the beach, by the river or a swimming pool, never allow a child to go into the water alone; develop a family plan so children do not get lost.
The Authority advised that any reports of child abuse, abandonment or neglect should be reported to the Police at 999 or to its 24-hour hotlines at 996 or 800-2014.