The City of Cape Town has developed a project to help reunite children who get lost at local beaches with their parents this festive season. The City was prompted to do this as a safety measure given the large influx of beachgoers during the summer holiday period, which can often result in children losing their parents in the crowds.
The Identikidz project gives young beach visitors identification armbands and registers them to ensure they are able to be reunited with their parents if they get lost.
Over the long weekend, the project registered 18 000 children across 14 beaches in Cape Town and rejoin 47 lost children with their parents or caregivers.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien, says the City is committed to ensuring the safety of children at local beaches this festive season.
“The City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department and the Disaster Risk Management Centre are once again going the extra mile with the Identikidz project to ensure our youngest bathers remain safe while having fun in the sun and surf,” she says.
Badroodien explained that each armband is marked with the contact details of the childrens’ parents’ or caregivers’ contact number.
“Teams are deployed at 14 of our beaches and children who arrive at the beach are registered and issued with an armband bearing the contact details of their parent or caregiver. In the event that the child is separated from their family, the armband then helps City staff or the police to reunite the child with their family. It also provides a measure of reassurance and peace of mind for both children and their families, making for a more enjoyable day at the beach,” she said.
In the 2017 festive season more than 43 281 children were registered with armbands and 417 displaced children were thankfully reunited with their parents after being lost.
If the child’s family is not found by the end of the day, the City will hand over the child to the Western Cape Department of Social Development.
Badroodien is encouraging the public to register their children as soon as they arrive at participating beaches.
“It takes a few minutes and could potentially save all involved a lot of anxiety and stress later. Identikidz helps to ensure that a trip to the beach leaves you only with happy memories and sand between your toes,” she says.