Advice Column, Parenting

Important safety tips for children

  • Missing Children South Africa
  • Category Advice Column, Parenting

1. Never go anywhere alone – always be with people you know and trust.

2. Always tell your parents where you are going, even if your plans change. Make sure your parents have your friend’s phone numbers as well.

3. Know your parent’s names and telephone numbers off by heart – also know another family member’s details in case you can’t get hold of your parents.

4. If you get lost in a shopping mall, don’t go looking for your parents by yourself.

5. Don’t go with people you don’t know or don’t trust. Go to public toilets accompanied by your friends or parents.

6. Don’t take any gifts from strangers, even if it’s that chocolate you really like.

7. Never accept lifts from strangers.

8. Make a scene when you think someone is following you – rather be safe than sorry.

9. Write your name and parents’ phone numbers on the inside of your clothes and schoolbag. This way, strangers can’t see it.

10. Never play in the streets alone, or any place where there is no adult supervision – it’s dangerous!

11. Remember the BUDDY SYSTEM: always take a friend with you – don’t go anywhere alone. This way, you can help each other when you are in trouble.

12. Tricky people are adults who ask children for help! No adult should need the help of a child and this is a huge red flag. Strangers who tempt children with treats and rewards, who lure them to their cars with empty promises or who touch your body when you say ‘no’ are bad people.

13. Stay in the exact spot where you are if you get separated from your parents, and scream out your first name at the top of your lungs until your parents have found you.

14. Always stay in a group of friend’s. We call this the ‘Buddy System’. Always avoid alleys and vacant lots when walking to school or a friend’s house.

15. Scream and make a noise when someone tries to grab you or try and push you into a car. Draw as much attention to yourselves as possible.

16. Social media can be a dangerous place where predators lure children. Remember to never tell strangers, not even children, your phone number, address, or name on-line. And don’t ever send personal photos to on-line friends, or tell them when and where you to hang out. Always decline invitations to meet in person. 

17. Know your parent’s names and telephone number off by heart in case of an emergency.

18. Always tell your parents where you are going and who you are going with. If there are change of plans inform your parents about it and also give your friends telephone numbers to your parents.

19. Never go to public restroom alone, always be accompanied by an adult that you trust.

20. Always be vigilant of your surroundings, if you feel someone is following you, make a noise and draw attention. Rather be safe than sorry.

21. Always stay in the school grounds until your parents are there to pick you up, and if there is a problem report to your teacher immediately. And remember the family exclusive password. If a stranger says they have come to pick you, the person must know the password, otherwise don’t go with anybody you don’t know or recognise. You will then know that the person was not sent to pick you up, if they don’t know the password.

22. Learn these very important numbers:




SAPS CRIMESTOP: 086 001 0111




Our website acts as an emergency report facility, as well as being MCSA’s platform for informational and educational material with regards to Child Safety. 

The service MCSA offers to the community and government is invaluable and as you can imagine we certainly have our work cut out for us. We provide our services free of charge to anyone who needs us. Sadly we don’t necessarily enjoy the same privilege for our needs and our financial requirements quite often outweigh our resources! We rely solely on the goodwill of individuals and corporations for financial support – funding remains MCSA’s biggest challenge.

The Covid-19 has had an absolutely dreadful and devastating impact on donations and funding for Missing Children South Africa, which is completely understandable as everybody is experiencing their own crisis’ and trying to navigate through these unchartered waters.

You can assist us now by clicking here and donating – this will be deeply appreciated and is much needed. Education plays an incredibly vital role in the life of Missing Children South Africa, and all funds received is utilised to further MCSA’s educational program; ‘Tips for Children’ and ‘Tips for Parents’ which promotes Child Safety. The education is targeted to all the vulnerable and orphaned children, and also children with disabilities. The education is also shared with parents, guardians and the families who take care of these children. The education focuses on not only the dangers, but also the solutions with regards to what to do to keep children safe, and especially what not do.   

What To Do When A Child Goes Missing

Try not to panic and DO NOT WAIT 24 hours to report your missing child.

Get a responsible person to stay at your house while you’re at the police station or searching for your child. This person can take messages if someone calls about the child’s disappearance or if the child returns home.

Go to your nearest police station and take a recent photograph of your child with you. 

Make sure that the photograph is of good quality so that your child will be easily identifiable.
Give a good description of what your child was wearing, their last whereabouts and any information that may help the police.

Complete a SAPS 55 (A) form which safeguards the police against false or hoax reports.

This form also gives the Police permission to distribute the photos and information of the missing child.

Make sure the police give you a reference number and a contact name and number of the SAPS officer(s) assigned to the investigation.

Click on our Report Now button, and complete the form:

Remember that if your child returns home, you should go to the Police station to report that your child is safe and let MSCA know that your child has returned home safely.

Missing Children South Africa’s social media platforms are:




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