I would like to congratulate TSTT for taking the initiative and issuing labels for parents to stick onto their children should they get separated during the Carnival festivities.
However I am concerned about the danger of putting a child’s name on his/her clothing thus enabling anyone to pretend that they know the ‘lost’ child.
Having worked for many years in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education, I am aware that the safety of children is paramount and although we ensured that each child had a label when we went on field trips, we never, ever included the child’s name. Only the contact details of the establishment. (School’s landline and the cellphone number of the senior person responsible for the group.)
We taught the children in our care, never to go with anyone, (apart from a police officer), including strangers unless they had the permission of the adult caring for them.
‘Strangers’ don’t know a child’s name, however if a young child is approached by someone who looks at the label then asks ‘What’s the matter Daryl/Maya?’ the child immediately assumes that this person knows who they are because he/she called them by their name therefore the child does not regard that person as a stranger and may then unwittingly go with him/her.
While we would like to think that our children are safe in this country, we must also keep in mind the opportunist paedophile who knows how to approach a distressed child pretending to be a friendly adult.
So once again well done TSTT but please re-think your labels before next year’s Carnival or any other major event.