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Child protection and safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: it is not only childcare workers that have a duty to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

When you come into contact with children in any way in your day to day work it is part of your job to make sure that their wellbeing is safeguarded. When we refer to the term child or children, this includes any child or young person up to the age of 18.

Safeguarding is preventative and involves promoting the welfare of children by protecting them from harm and recognising the risks to their safety and security. Child protection is the activity of protecting children who are suffering or may be likely to suffer from significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect.

This is any abuse where a child is physically harmed, for example hitting, biting, and burning. Signs and symptoms might be unexplained wounds, bruises or broken bones. The child might make up stories to explain injuries or try to cover them up with clothing.

Child protection extends beyond direct contact as the internet, with its endless access to information, is a valuable tool but also a potential risk to safety and security. 

It is important to monitor or be aware of what a child sees and shares, or could become exposed to. There is a high risk of being exposed to sexual predators (for example, in chatrooms), pornography or radicalisation. 

Using e-technology to bully people has become an increasing problem in recent years with over a third of young people having been affected at least once. There has been a massive increase in online bullying due to the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook, which is easily accessible through mobile devices as well as computers. Examples include posting negative comments on someone’s Facebook site, taking on someone’s identity on the web to humiliate them or harassing someone via their mobile phone.