Sat | Jan 20, 2018

safety tips for children attending champs

Published:Saturday | March 19, 2016 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Rosalee Gage-Grey
Everton Hannam
Kingston College drummers at Champs yesterday.

The Child Development Agency (CDA), the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica, and a former president of the Jamaica Association of Guidance Counsellors in Education have issued some advice to children who will be venturing off to the National Stadium today for the ISSA Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships.

Saturday is the most electrifying and exciting day at Champs each year. With huge crowds streaming into and out of the stadium, children are usually exposed to many risks.

Rosalee Gage-Grey, head of the CDA, is, therefore, encouraging children to ensure that they get the necessary permission from their parents or guardians before attending the championships.

"The Child Development Agency wishes all children a safe and enjoyable experience at the 2016 ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships. The championships is an exciting experience and many children will want to attend. We encourage children to get permission from their parent or guardian before attending," Gage-Grey said.


She is recommending that children go in groups of three or more, make prior arrangements to get home, and they should not accept rides from strangers. The CDA also recommends that children avoid leaving with persons they are not familiar, and if they take public transportation, they should constantly update their parents on their whereabouts.

"Stay alert and pay attention while walking from the stadium and avoid talking on your cell phone, texting, reading, or being otherwise distracted. Avoid hanging out after the championships or going to meet anyone at any private location. Remember all schools are winners and each child has the right to his or her own opinion," Gage-Grey warned.

Former president of the Jamaica Association of Guidance Counsellors Dr Grace Kelly not only had advice for students, but parents as well. She stressed that children should at no point in time go off on their own or accept items from strangers.

"They need to stay focused, stay with their groups, and avoid straying away by themselves. In terms of accepting things from persons, they should avoid that. Parents can come together and pool drive or they hire a registered taxi; somebody who they can be sure will take their children to the destination and back," Kelly said.

Everton Hannam, president of the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica, pledged his support for the Champs for Peace initiative and called on children to ensure friendly rivalry.

"The National PTA supports the Champs for Peace initiative that has been established and continues to grow. Champs is an exercise that needs to be enjoyed in the true spirit of rivalry. Let us, therefore, continue to ensure that our students, when they leave home for Champs, they are weaponless. The Champs for Peace initiative is really a good one," he said.