NSPCC launches new support and guidance for parents to help keep kids safe from harm this summer

New figures show calls to the NSPCC from concerned adults rise by over a third during the summer holidays.

The NSPCC has recently launched a new campaign aimed at supporting families – ‘Keep Kids Safe from Harm this Summer’ – after the charity received a sharp increase in calls about children at risk during last year’s summer holidays.

The new campaign offers support and advice to parents on keeping their children safe from harm this summer but also asks them to be vigilant and contact the NSPCC if they are worried about a child.

The campaign celebrates the summer holidays for giving families the opportunity to spend more time together. But it also recognises that parents have difficult choices to make. Getting the balance right between letting their children have fun, explore and develop independence whilst keeping them safe is not easy. So the campaign lets parents know that, if they need it, the NSPCC is on hand to provide advice and support to help them keep children safe.

‘Keep Kids Safe from Harm this Summer’ is a seven week programme of parenting advice featuring new content on the charity’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages which will also direct parents to external sources of information. It will provide help for parents on matters such as deciding when it is safe to leave their child home alone and when to allow them to go out on their own.

Parents are encouraged to get involved with the campaign by expressing their views in surveys, Facebook polls, a Q&A and a Twitter interview hosted by Netmums, with advice being provided by Dr Linda Papadopoulos and the NSPCC’s parenting advisor Jane Petrie.

Whilst most families will have a safe summer, we also want parents to be vigilant. During last year’s summer holidays, the number of calls to the NSPCC about young children being home or out alone which were so serious a referral to the police or social services was required rose by a third when compared to calls for the rest of the year. So the message to parents who are worried about a child is clear: don’t wait until you’re certain – give us a call.

Calls to the NSPCC included a neighbour worried after seeing two children under ten who were left alone for several days. The neighbour told the NSPCC: “It’s been on quite a few occasions now – there’s nobody there all day and the children end up hanging around outside until about 5 o’clock, when their dad gets home from work.”

Another caller said: “I’m really worried about the kids over the road – the four year old often gets out into the road and the only person looking after her is her older brother who is seven. The baby is sometimes left by himself, too.”

Anyone who is worried about a child or wants advice can contact the NSPCC for free 24 hours a day, by calling 0808 800 5000, emailing help@nspcc.org.uk, texting 88858 or by going to www.nspcc.org.uk/helpline. They can choose to remain anonymous if they wish.

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