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Threats that face South African children!

By Mzukona Mantshontsho

It is a relief that we are meticulous about washing our hands, avoiding handshakes, boosting our immune systems by eating well, minimising unnecessary stress and getting enough exercise and fresh air.

This suggests that South Africans have a plan if they get sick: they know where to go, who to contact and how to care for our livelihoods. We can do more; it is about behavioural change for us to do better.

Let us not forget the vast number of issues threatening the well-being of children today:

  • Lack of proper nutrition and shelter
  • Lack of access to proper healthcare
  • Neglect
  • Violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Child pornography
  • Child trafficking
  • Accidental drowning, burns, electrocution, poisoning and choking
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Lack of proper education, and
  • Bullying

Bullying in our schools is a very unwelcome behavior because it makes so many learners feel uncomfortable and often hate or choose to bunk school, because of bullying.

Bullying is expressed in numerous ways: emotionally, physically, psychologically and at times plain peer pressure in terms of being made to feel ‘uncool’ or weird. When you are bullied at school, make the effort to inform the teachers or management, to find a lasting solution. While many people are aware of these issues they do not understand just how great an impact they have on our children and our society as a whole.

The number of South African children suffering from child abuse is much higher – in the millions. Children require a great deal of assistance and guidance in everyday life, much more so than adults do. Children need help with almost everything they do, from basic tasks such as having a bath and getting dressed, to learning how to treat other people. This means that children are much more vulnerable than adults and therefore require protection from the many dangers that threaten their well-being.