Eyes Open approach encouraged for children at risk

(Issued on behalf of the Perth and Kinross Child Protection Committee) Everyone in Perth and Kinross should keep their Eyes Open for children at risk during the school holidays.

In the run-up to schools sounding the end of term bell, members of the public across Scotland are being encouraged to be extra observant and protect children when school's out for summer.

Child Protection Committees Scotland brings together child protection professionals and the Eyes Open campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the important role everyone has to keep children safe from harm in the holidays.

Perth & Kinross Child Protection Committee's Independent Chair Bill Atkinson says: "Perth and Kinross children are about to be away from the usual school routine for a few weeks. For most local children this is a time of year filled with fun and free time, but for some families the summer holidays is a time of increased stress and pressure. It is at these times that children are more at risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and harm. In some cases, children are not supervised or cared for adequately, others might even experience neglect."

By keeping your Eyes Open, the Perth and Kinross child protection committee hope that members of the public can take a more active, watchful role in protecting children in the area, and take action if they're concerned for a child's wellbeing. Bill is clear that each and every one of us has a role to play in keeping our youngsters safe.

"By keeping our eyes open and our other senses tuned in, we might spot the telltale signs that a child is at risk. These signs include seeing children wandering about unsupervised, children who are very dirty or unfed, or young people going into "party" flats who may be exploited. However, spotting the signs isn't enough. If something doesn't seem quite right for a child, or a family of children, it's better if you see something to say something than do nothing."

If you have concerns about a child or children, you can contact Perth & Kinross Council's Child Protection Duty Team on 01738 476768 (open 24 hours) or the police on 101. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, dial 999.