Archive for the ‘Children's Safety’ Category

Lahad Datu school disinfects classes

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

The teachers disinfecting school equipment to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

LAHAD DATU: The SK Lahad Datu 2 here took the initiative to disinfect the school equipment including desk and chairs to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in their school.

Its headmistress, Myna Relay said the initiative covered 24 classes in the school for both session as well as four pre-school rooms.

Myna said all teachers involved in the activities which initiated by the school using their own fund.

“This is phase one, during this phase, we disinfect the classes and equipments once a day, do health screening test on the students also reminds the students to frequently wash their hands.

“Phase two will be launched after the school break and will be conducted in accordance with current situation,” she said, adding that the initiative would be carried out as needed.

Myna also added that the school was also constantly monitoring and responding to orders issued by the District Education Office such as instruction to close the school if a student or staff was suspected of Covid-19 infection.

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‘Buy suitable car seats for your kids’

Monday, December 30th, 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) has advised parents to purchase suitable child car seats or child restraint systems (CRS) for their children, as a ruling for the use of these seats begins in January.

Miros director general Dr Siti Zaharah Ishak said that a suitable CRS corresponded to the height and weight of the child.

“The seat can reduce the risk of injury or being thrown out of the car or hitting the hard object in the car during harsh braking or collision, ” she told The Star.

According to guidelines by Miros, every child below the height of 135cm (or approximately below 12 years old) should use the CRS.

Malaysia has adopted the United Nations R44 or R129 Standards for CRS.

The guidelines specify four different types of seats – from birth up to 13kg (up to a height of 83cm, approx 0 to 18 months), 9-18kg (71cm and above, approx 15 months to four years), 15–25kg (100cm and above, approx four to seven years) and 22-36kg (up to 135cm, approx six to 12 years).

Dr Siti said that correctly installed CRS may help to reduce the risk of death by 71% for infants and by 54% for children aged one to four years old and reducing the need for hospitalisation by 69% for children aged 4 years old and below.

“Seat belts are a proven intervention to reduce the risk of fatalities during road accidents for adults. However, it is not designed to protect a child, ” she said.

Based on recent observation during Ops Hari Raya 2019, Miros found that only 33% of children were sitting in a car seat.

Checks at outlets selling these items revealed that there is a growing demand for them.

Retailer of baby and childcare products Mothercare said that they have recorded a 250% increase in sales of CRS since October, compared to the same time last year.

Another company that sells these products U-baby similarly said there was a spike in the sales of the CRS.

“We are importing more stock in anticipation of the growing demand, ” said a spokesperson of the company.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced that child seats will be made compulsory by 2020.

However, he has directed the Road Transport Department (JPJ) not to penalise drivers for the first six months of the new ruling.

His deputy Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar later clarified in Parliament that large families would be exempted from installing child car seats in their vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) will closely monitor the online sale of CRS, which are widely available, to ensure they comply with the stipulated standards.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, said KPDNHEP has the right and duty in terms of enforcement of the items to ensure that the issue of fake and unsafe goods being sold does not crop up.

“The guideline on the characteristics for child restraint seats has already been issued by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) this year (Nov 23), ” he said in Bukit Mertajam yesterday.

“And when the use of the CRS is enforced in 2020, we (ministry) will immediately carry out our duty, namely, to conduct enforcement in line with the conditions stipulated by Miros, namely, product safety standard and trademarks, whether false or genuine.

“And if an outlet advertises (its products), we will ensure what is advertised are available on the products sold, ’’ he told reporters when asked to comment on a Malay newspaper report that mobile car seats are available for as low as RM18 to RM39.90 each via online purchase.

He said this after handing over school uniforms and other schooling items to 150 pupils from B40 families in the Kulim-Bandar Baharu Parliamentary Constituency at the Econsave Supermarket here today.

On Oct 23, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail announced that the use of CRS in private cars will be mandatory from Jan 1.

By Rashvinjeet S. Bedi.

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Child sex abuse victims experience guilt and shame

Friday, December 20th, 2019
Child sex abuse victims display more self-destructive behaviour as well as experience more suicidal tendencies. FILE PIC

A REPORT by a newspaper showing that a high percentage of child sexual abusers are close family members, such as fathers and stepfathers, is heart-wrenching.

It is even more heart-breaking when the report stated that most adults do not believe their children when they say that they have been sexually abused.

However, 98 per cent of the reported child abuse cases are true.

Children are a gift from Allah. They are worth more than wealth and material resources.

Their physical, mental, psychological and intellectual needs must be protected from harm, abuse and maltreatment.

Firm action should be taken if children are harmed and the abusers should be punished.

According to the 1999 WHO Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention, child sexual abuse is “the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent, or that violates the laws or social taboos of society”.

Every country has enacted laws to safeguard children from sexual abuse, including Malaysia.

the Child Act 2001 and the Sexual Offences against Children Act 2017 are designed to protect children.

Section 31 of the Child Act stipulates that the parent or guardian of a child who sexually abuses the child or causes or otherwise permits him to be abused is committing an offence.

Upon conviction, the offender can be fined not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisoned not exceeding 20 years, or both.

The Sexual Offences Against Children Act provides certain offences and their punishment such as sexually communicating with a child (maximum three years imprisonment), child grooming (maximum five years imprisonment and whipping), meeting, following child grooming (maximum 10 years imprisonment and whipping), physical sexual assault on a child (maximum 20 years imprisonment and whipping) and non-physical assault on a child (maximum 15 years imprisonment and maximum RM20,000 fine or both).

Nevertheless, law enforcement is a cause for concern.

Laws are useless without enforcement.

This issue needs to be addressed to protect children.

Child sexual abuse leads to depression, eating disorders, somatic concerns, anxiety, helplessness, attitude problems, denial, sexual and relationship problems.

It has also been linked to psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and delusional disorder.

Victims often experience guilt, shame and self-blame, which are also categorised as negative mental health effects.

It has been shown that they take responsibility for the abuse.

When the sexual abuse is committed by a trusted adult, it may be hard for the child to view the perpetrator in a bad light, leaving them incapable of seeing what happened as none of their fault. Victims blame and absorb negative messages about themselves.

Victims display more self-destructive behaviour as well as experience more suicidal tendencies.

Family support and strong peer relationship are important in reducing the impact.

It is important to inculcate awareness in family members to believe a child’s complaint and to act upon it through police report and investigation.

As stated in the book The Law of Domestic Violence (IIUM Press, 2019), the same duty needs to be imposed on neighbours and teachers in the event of suspicious occurrences of child abuse.

No matter how the abusers hide their evil deeds, the crime will be exposed.

However, society needs to be aware of the importance of protecting and concealing the identity of victims.


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Dangerous when wet

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

IT is reported that at least one person dies every day from drowning in Malaysia but many are still not aware of the dangers involved when doing water activities. They also do not know how to keep safe at water recreational spots.

And this is worrying authorities, as the number of drowning cases tends to rise during school and public holidays, weekends and the monsoon season.

‘’The rate of deaths due to drowning nationwide each year has been three to four times that of fire victims since 2018. Most of the drowning victims were school students and normally, the victims were not local residents of the area,” Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid told reporters recently.

From 2016 to 2018, JBPM recorded up to 15 spots as high-risk drowning areas nationwide, with frequency of death by drowning at more than five victims. Around 39 moderate-risk areas – involving less than five victims – were also identified.

This year the JBPM is monitoring six hot spots identified as high-risk drowning areas nationwide: five river spots in Kedah, Perak and Sabah and one waterfall in Terengganu with 14 deaths recorded due to drowning as of October.

Mohammad Hamdan added that the department is also working with local authorities to identify non-recreational water bodies with high risks such as unused mining pools, drainage ditches and runoff areas.

Often these unsupervised and unsecured areas are enticing as play areas for children and youths. However, these spots can pose potential dangers such as steep drop-offs, entrapment hazards and strong currents, even for those who know how to swim.

JBPM advised parents to talk to their children about the dangers, especially during the monsoon season.

“Don’t let your children go off alone without adult supervision. And report to local authorities of any potential water hazard in your neighbourhood,” said Mohammad Hamdan.

Another measure the JBPM is considering is stopping all water activities during the monsoon season, especially in high-risk areas.

Said Mohammad Hamdan, this measure, which has been adopted in Terengganu – to halt all activities on its resort islands during the monsoon season – has been effective in preventing and reducing drowning and other water accidents.

Ultimately, however, the public needs to be vigilant and take the necessary measures to keep safe in the water, he cautioned.

“Every school holidays, like now, many parents will take their family and children on water outings and to do various water activities. It is important that they keep safe when their children are around and in water.

Here are some basic water safety steps that you can take when going on a water outing:

1 Supervision is rule watch your kids.

According to WHO, one to four year olds are at the most risk to drown in a pool or accidentally fall into water without the proper survival skills.

2 Look for natural warning signs in your surroundings

Use your common sense! Understand the risks at the water spot. Know your and your family’s ability to cope with them.

3 Always swim in recognised and safe swimming locations. Don’t do any water activities in “strange” or “new” waters you are not familiar with. Designated swimming areas are usually cleared of underwater hazards and have lifeguards on duty.

4 Observe the posted signs in the area Signs warn of dangers and give information on the area including the prohibited activities there.

5 Know your family’s swimming ability

Just because you know how to swim doesn’t mean you can’t drown, say experts.

Swimmers’ false sense of security can push them to take risks in the water, like swimming alone. This is also why would-be-rescuers often become drown victims themselves.

6 Check the weather and water conditions

Don’t have any water activities in bad weather and when the tide is rising or receding.

If a storm or rain is forecast, it’s best to make other plans.

7 Wear suitable clothing Use a life jacket and float if required.

8 Don’t get into the water to rescue a drowning victim if you have no water rescuing skills Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.

The different strokes

Swimming in an open body of water (like a river or ocean) is different from swimming in a pool. But both have their risks and basic safety measures should be taken:

At a swimming pools and water-theme parks

  • Spot the lifeguardl Designate a Water Watcher

Assign a parent or adult in your group to be in-reach at all times of the children in the pool.

  • Avoid distractions

No phone, no reading, no sleeping, no chatting. Your eyes should only be on the water. Use your phone only if you need to call 999.

  • Look out for pool drains

With its strong suction pressure, pool drains can trap swimmers underwater and cause them to drown.

At waterfalls

  • Observe the posted signs
  • Don’t swim under powerful waterfalls
  • Look out for slippery rocks
  • Get out of the water in heavy rain At rivers
  • Never swim alone
  • Check the water speed

Try this test: Throw a short log into the water, if it’s pulled under or swept quickly downstream, don’t swim!

  • Know the weather upstream

Rain upstream, especially at the headwater, can cause a strong water surge.

  • Check for crocodiles

At beaches

  • Look out for warning flags
  • Avoid any water activities in bad weather
  • Obey the danger sirens and warning announcements
  • Get out of the water if the water suddenly recedes drastically

At lakes and ponds

  • Use a life jacket and float if required
  • Avoid weedy areas

A weed forest can entangle a swimmer’s legs.

  • Check for algae

Algae can cause skin rash, eye irritation, bacterial infection.

  • Scout out the extent of the shallow water, set clear boundaries Lakes are usually very deep.

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Schools urged to seriously ensure students’ safety

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Schools have been urged to take greater actions to ensure students’ safety in the school compound.

Following the rape case in Tawau involving seven SPM students, Sabah Education Director Dr Mistirine Radin said the 14-year-old victim is currently undergoing counselling sessions.

She said the department has yet to finalise further actions to be taken upon the students.

“This is shocking and devastating, especially since it happened in the school compound…students are supposed to be safe in school.

“Although it is SPM season now, other students are still scheduled to come to school,” she said after the Orang Asli and Indigenous Adult Class (KEDAP) 2019 certificate presentation ceremony here on Tuesday.

On Friday, a Form Two student was found half nude by a female teacher in a switch room of a school in Tawau.

She claimed that two boys had raped her, four forced her to perform oral sex on them, while another boy watched the incident.

The suspects had since been remanded for three days before allowed police bail to enable them sit for their SPM examination.

On the KEDAP programme, Mistirine said it was aimed at raising literacy among indigenous people.

She said it would not only motivate their children to obtain knowledge but also equip themselves with basic skills of reading, writing, and calculating.

“The department will be sure to provide various support and services to schools and students which is translated through our efforts to improve the quality of our services.

“The department will also continue to strengthen its delivery system which includes a restructuring in the department and district education offices,” she said.

The ceremony saw 265 participants graduating from 14 schools in 12 districts namely Beluran, Keningau, Kota Belud, Kudat, Lahad Datu, Pitas, Ranau, Sandakan, Semporna, Tawau, Tongod, and Tenom.

By DK Ryni Qareena.

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Rising – sexual crimes in Sabah

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

File photo from Bernama.

KENINGAU: The increase in the number of child sexual crimes in Sabah from time to time is not only in urban but also rural or interior areas, said Commissioner of Police Datuk Omar Mammah (pic).

He said Sabah’s sexual crime statistics so far this year showed an increase of 374 cases compared to 302 cases last year.

“These cases include rape, incest, outrage, disgrace and obscene,” he said when closing the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) Sabah Contingent Sexual Crimes Awareness Campaign held at Keningau Campus Teacher Education Institute, here.

He said the Sabah police sexual crime awareness campaign was a major effort by police in reducing crime rates involving children and adolescents.

Omar said the campaign was aimed at exposing students and the community to aspects of child crime prevention and understanding of law enforcement in the context of creating a harmonious and peaceful society.

The campaign also provided basic knowledge to children and the public on legal aspects of litigation and preventive measures in dealing with cases of sexual crime, in particular in Sabah.

He said the involvement of community leaders, educators and students is important and has become a medium for communicating knowledge of sexual crime to the local community. Cases spanned a wide range of ages, especially that of teenagers and children are very alarming.

“If we understand the definition of child sexual abuse, it refers to any individual behaviour that forces, misleads or intimidates children into inducing sexual relation with the perpetrator to satisfy sexual desire.

“This sexual crime has a wide range of understandings that include not only rape but also sexual acts, incest, outrage, sodomy, obscene and disgrace.

“Crime among children and teenagers today will give impact on individuals, families, communities and the country,” he said.

Touching on criminal cases, Omar said the involvement of teenagers and children, including students, in crime behaviour and misconduct, as often expressed through the media, should be taken seriously.

He said early exposure to sexual crime should start from the family institution itself and play an important role for parents and guardians to convey knowledge to children.

Efforts should be intensified, including at the school level and higher education institutes, to study the root causes of this problem and to give them guidance and awareness on the negative effects of criminal behaviour not only on society but on the future of the individual and the country.

“Due to the rising number of child sexual abuse cases and the growing public interest in the community, the Government and the authorities are intensely concerned about the issue involving these children until Parliament has enacted a new law, the Sexual Offences Act on Children 2017, effective July 10, 2017.

“This Act applies to any victim under the age of 18 and it is punishable by a higher penalty for each offence.”

However, he said this would be extremely difficult to achieve if the people were afraid to approach the police.

“The whole community is welcome to be the eyes and ears of the police, whether by coming to the police station or channelling any information via telephone.”

Nearly 1,000 people, including Sabah Contingent Police Crime Investigation Department Head and Campaign Coordinator, SAC Jauteh Dikun, senior police officers of the Sabah Contingent Headquarters and Keningau Police Headquarters, heads of state and federal government departments, community and religious leaders, teachers and students from Keningau, Tenom, Tambunan and Nabawan attended the one-day event.

By: Johan Aziz.

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Parents reminded to monitor children’s activities on social media

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
Dr Wan Azizah said this at the #KidsTakeOverParliament: Kita Peduli programme at the Banquet Hall of Parliament building today.-Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has reminded parents to play a more proactive role in monitoring their children’s activities on social media to prevent them from falling prey to sexual exploitation.

She said the issue of exploitation of children for sexual crimes was very worrying, especially in the current borderless digital world that provides easy access to gadgets and the Internet.

“We need to instill awareness on the prevalence of child grooming for sexual crimes in social media and we want children to be equipped with information and guidelines so that they will not become victims,” she said.

She also highlighted the atrocious nature of the Dark Web that allowed child pornography to be downloaded by Internet users in Malaysia.

Dr Wan Azizah said this at the #KidsTakeOverParliament: Kita Peduli programme at the Banquet Hall of Parliament building today.

It was also attended by Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching and UNICEF permanent representative in Malaysia Marianne Clark-Hattingh.

The programme, organised by the Education Ministry, UNICEF Malaysia and Project ID, addressed the issue of bullying in schools in the country and was participated by 40 students nationwide.

On bullying, Dr Wan Azizah said the problem could be tackled through the education system with support from family and the community.

“We all have our role and responsibility, we need to inculcate a positive environment so that this trend of violence can be curbed,” said Dr Wan Azizah who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister.

Teo, in her speech, said the Education Ministry had cooperated with various agencies to provide psychological support for victims of bullying to ensure their well-being.

At the programme, the children believed to be victims of bullying, presented their views on the issue and proposed anti-bullying measures that can be implemented in schools.

By Bernama.

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MPWS: Need to educate people on immunisation

Thursday, October 31st, 2019
KOTA KINABALU: Vaccination awareness programmes are necessary in the State so that the public, especially parents will realise the important role they play in reaching full immunisation.
To educate on the safety and efficacy of vaccination as well as dangers of remaining unvaccinated, Sabah Women’s Advisory Council (MPWS) Health Committee organised an Immunisation Awareness Seminar at Wisma Wanita here, Wednesday.
MPWS Chairman, Datuk Noni Said when officiating the seminar said the programme is vital in providing knowledge and awareness to the public on the importance of immunisation.
She said immunisation is a simple and effective way of protecting children from serious diseases and it not only protects the child from deadly diseases but also keep other children safe by eliminating or greatly decreasing dangerous diseases that can be spread from child to child.

“When children are not vaccinated, they are at risk of catching diseases than can spread to other children in their play groups, school and communities, including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated.

“I hope the people who participated in this seminar will go back and spread the awareness on immunisation to their families and friends in achieving health priorities through vaccination,” she said.
Noni said immunisation is also important to reduce the risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, especially when the disease comes from the unvaccinated immigrants in the State.
“When we are exposed to a disease in vaccine form, our immune system is able to build up antibodies that protect them from contacting the disease.

From my non-medical view, even if we get the disease it would not be as bad as the one who did not get immunisation,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sabah Health Department Chief Assistant Director, Dr Prabakaran Dhanaraj said according to  statistics, there are 14 people in the State who have refuse to get vaccinated, from Jan to June, this year.

He said that many of the people are well-educated and they also appear to be victims of widespread misinformation.

“Anti-vaccination has been going around for about 100 years and every time they get new information, they tend to make it an issue. It seems that the more educated the person is, the more they are easily convinced. It should be the other way around.
“People are more informed now, but some of them decided not to get vaccinated,” he said.
He also said the State Government needs to have a policy on immunisation for refugees and immigrants.
“Most of the immigrants in Sabah do not get vaccinated and they are working here. So we need to find solutions for this so that they will not affect other people if there is a disease outbreak coming from them.
Prabakaran said vaccine is the cheapest form of prevention against diseases and deaths.

He said the government incurs an immunisation cost of RM15 million to RM20 million a year.

“We need to encourage people to get vaccinated, it is free for Malaysians,” he said.By: Ottey Peter.

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25 schools in Putrajaya to closed tomorrow if API reading exceeds 200

Monday, September 16th, 2019
As many as 25 schools in Putrajaya will be forced to suspend classes on Tuesday if the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading exceeds 200 which is ‘very unhealthy’. (NSTP/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH)

PUTRAJAYA: As many as 25 schools in Putrajaya will be forced to suspend classes on Tuesday if the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading exceeds 200 which is ‘very unhealthy’, according to the Deputy Director (Planning) of the Federal Territory Education Department, Dr Roslan Hussin

He said the department would monitor the API reading from time to time and schools would be required to close if the haze reading exceeded 200 to ensure the health of students and teachers stayed protected.

There are 25 schools in the Putrajaya area of which 15 are primary schools and 10 are secondary schools.

As of 4pm this afternoon, the reading of the API in Putrajaya was 196 which is unhealthy.

“We are monitoring the reading of the API in Putrajaya. The director of the Federal Territory Education Department has asked all principals and teachers to come up with an appropriate plan including postponing all activities outside the classroom based on the reading of the API,” he said when contacted here today.

Putrajaya became the latest area to register a very unhealthy API reading today with a reading of 202 at 12 noon.

By Bernama.

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Haze crisis: N95 mask offers best protection

Saturday, September 14th, 2019
Malaysians are advised to wear the N95 face mask when outdoors to protect themselves from the severe haze currently affecting most parts of the country.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians are advised to wear the N95 face mask when outdoors to protect themselves from the severe haze currently affecting most parts of the country.

Senior consultant paediatrician Datuk Dr Amar Singh said the N95 mask is designed to filter at least 95 per cent of tiny, 0.3-micron particles – provided it is worn correctly, with a good fit to the face of the wearer.

He also stressed that the surgical blue or green fabric mask widely used by the public is less effective in providing protection against toxic air.

“The (popular) three-ply surgical mask cannot filter out toxic gases and fine particles of less than 2.5 microns.

“It is important to recognise that most of the harmful substances in the (haze are) toxic gases and very small particles, most under 2.5 microns in size,” he told Bernama.

Amar said that an analysis of the haze has revealed that it contains gasses such as carbon monoxide, cyanide, ammonia, formaldehyde, acrolein and benzene – some of which have carcinogenic effects.

“Ultra-fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 microns or less) often lodge deep in the lungs and have short and long-term effects on cardiovascular and pulmonary health,” he added.

Meanwhile, Health Department director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that exposure to the haze can lead to asthma, cough, eye irritation and lung infections.

He urged the public to avoid outdoor activities and to stay up to date on the haze situation via the Department of Environment’s portal,

Further information on health effects and preventive measures which can be taken against the haze is available at

By New Straits Times.

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