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Safety and security

Geraldine Panapasa
Sunday, December 03, 2017

AS we welcome the festive month of December, police are already calling on parents, guardians and the community to remain vigilant during this period of heavy rain.

The call to keep a close watch on our children comes in the wake of flash flooding in low-lying areas as a result of the heavy downpour in some parts of the country.

Our article on Page 2 highlights the dangers of being complacent and ignorant when it comes to the safety of our family members during times of disaster.

And now more than ever is the time to err on the side of caution with Fiji's cyclone season already upon us until April 2018 — we are told there are four to six cyclones predicted to hit the Pacific region, and two of those would possibly pass through Fiji.

The weather office has even revealed that occasional rain will be expected across the country while the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management and Meteorological Service has called on the public to act responsibly and pay close attention to the weather forecast, warning and advisories issued by the Fiji Meteorological Service and National Disaster Management Office.

It's a common sight to see children and youths splashing about flooded rivers, drains and pools of water whenever there is heavy rain.

It may seem like innocent fun, perhaps because it's a trend that's been happening for many years. It only becomes a cause for concern when a child or youth drowns or gets swept away by strong currents.

It's happened before and it will keep happening unless parents, guardians and the community take a proactive approach to teach their children and youths about the dangers of playing in flooded drains and waterways.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro even revealed that police personnel have had to chase children and youths swimming in flooded areas. So what does this mean and how can we keep our children and youths away from these seemingly 'fun' adventures?

For starters, it means appreciating life. It means investing in family time and finding ways to keep your children and youths entertained indoors, away from these types of dangerous play that can and has taken lives.

Sit your children down and explain to them the dangers of playing in flooded rivers and waterways. That simple act of instilling a sense of responsibility at a young age can go a long way to saving a life, saving your son or daughter's life.

And if you're still unsure about how to keep your children occupied when it's raining cats and dogs, turn on the television or radio, pump up the volume and support our sevens gladiators as they kick-start their 2017-2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series campaign.

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