THE NSPCC is calling on people in Lincolnshire to be alert to children at risk of abuse and neglect during the summer holidays.
Last August the NSPCC Helpline received 9,555 calls and emails from people in Lincolnshire and across the UK concerned about a child – up 10 per cent on the average month. Of these, 48 per cent were so serious they required the involvement of police or local children’s services.
The charity is calling on people in Lincolnshire to contact its Helpline on 0808 800 5000, text 88858, or email firstname.lastname@example.org whenever they have concerns about a child.
Head of the NSPCC Helpline John Cameron, said: “Children don’t get a summer break from cruelty. It can happen at any time, any day and we must pick up on the signs of child abuse as early as possible. And with children not in school, it really is down to the public to spot signs of abuse or neglect and to act on these concerns.
“For some children the holidays are harder than term time. They have to live with abuse day in day out. And if the only person they can talk to outside the home is their teacher, they may be left to suffer in silence for six long weeks. For a young child six weeks can feel a very long time.”
Ten tips to look for that may mean a child is at risk this summer -
Children left home alone all day, perhaps while parents or carers are out at work
Young children playing in a park or street with no one looking after them
Cuts or bruises that don’t seem to be caused by normal ‘rough and tumble’
Summer parties where adults are drinking heavily, or using drugs around children
Adults on a family outing who are hitting a child or verbally abusing them
Children at a social gathering who seem to be withdrawn or upset
Children who seem upset by the person ‘babysitting’ them in the holidays
Young people who appear to be sleeping rough
Children being left unsupervised when parents go off on holiday
A child left in a car on a hot day – maybe in a supermarket car park