Technology, for the most part, is a boon to modern living – and many would find it difficult to do without their smartphone or tablet computer to get them through the day.
The council’s trading standards team, however, is asking parents to turn off their technology – even if for only a part of the day – to devote more time to their children, and help ensure their little ones are safe.
To help get the message across, members of the team and an officer from the Croydon Safeguarding Children Board will be out and about during Child Safety Week (Monday 6 to Sunday 12 June) to promote the occasion and distribute information packs containing child safety-related leaflets and devices to help with child safety in the home.
They will be at Tesco Extra, in Purley, on Monday (6), and at the Selhurst branch of Sainsbury’s on Friday (10), from about 10.30am to 3pm at each venue.
This Child Safety Week, the Child Accident Prevention Trust is asking families to pledge to ‘turn off technology for safety’. The almost universal use of technology, especially smartphones, means the theme offers an opener to engage with families across the board, including those most at risk from accidents, which often happen when we’re distracted. Serious accidents can happen alarmingly quickly, taking us by surprise.
By turning off technology at crucial times in the day, parents can give their children their focus and so keep them safer when pressures mount. Young people can stay safer, too, by turning off technology at certain points in the day.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“It’s not a big ask to suggest parents or guardians switch off their phone, or at least to silent, for an hour a day, say between 5 and 6pm.
“That would present one less distraction, giving them the chance to focus on their children, and showing those children that they have their parents’ undivided attention.
“It would also set a good example to children and young people that it’s no bad thing to turn off their phone at times when concentration is important to stay safe; for example, when crossing the road.”