People in Dundee are being asked to keep their “Eyes Open” for children at risk during the summer holidays.
Schools in the city close for the summer break on Friday and the City Council is taking part in a national campaign urging adults to help protect potentially vulnerable children when the bell rings for the end of term.
Norma Ritchie, independent chair of the Dundee Child Protection Committee, said the summer holidays are not a fun-filled, relaxing time for everyone.
She said: “Most children in Dundee look forward to having lots of fun and free time during the school holidays but for some families, the summer break can bring extra stress and pressure.
“In some cases, children might not be looked after or supervised properly and some might even experience serious neglect.”
The Eyes Open campaign has been organised by Child Protection Committees Scotland, a nation-wide grouping of child protection professionals, with a clear message that everyone in every community across the country is responsible for child welfare.
As well as being vigilant, Ms Ritchie said people must not be afraid to take action if they are concerned about a child during the school holidays.
She said: “We’re simply asking people in Dundee to keep their eyes open for telltale signs that all is not well. Signs that a child might be at risk could include being alone and unsupervised, being out and about at all times of day or night or even going into “party” flats.
“A vulnerable child might be very dirty or persistently hungry, or have parents who are drunk in charge of them. If you’re at all worried, it’s important to take action.”
CPCScotland chairman Alan Small said it is better to make an intervention that could help a child at risk rather than doing nothing.
He added: “You can ask the child if they’re okay or even offer the family some support.
“Or, if the situation is serious and you’re very worried contact Dundee City Council’s social work department, or the police.”