Be Vigilant in Protecting Your Children from Harm – Urges Jamaica Prime Minister

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is expressing deep sadness following the death of two young boys; Javinchie Palmer and Tyler McLeod, who tragically died after fire on Friday night razed their home in the community of Paradise in Norwood St. James.

Prime Minister Holness continues to reiterate the need for greater parental supervision and protection of children from catastrophic events such as fires which can be prevented.  He is urging parents to meet their obligation to ensuring the safety and protection of their children.

The Prime Minister says many of these fires are the result of negligence and a lack of attention to fire hazards.

“Exposed flames are a danger to children and their use should be discontinued with immediacy. Fire hazards such as candles, kerosene lamps, exposed electrical wiring; flammable items, accelerants and all other such hazards should be removed in all instances, and kept out of the reach of children where necessary,” cautions Holness.

Holness is also encouraging parents not to leave their children unattended at any time or in the care of another minor. “Supervision is important to prevent these disasters; we must ensure that the safety of our children is always our foremost concern.”

Holness has been very vocal about the issue of open flame fires as an imminent danger to children.

Just last week while handing over the keys to a newly rehabilitated home which was destroyed by fire that claimed the life of young Neymar Facey and left fifteen members of a family homeless,  Holness stressed that the use of open flame fires, such as the use of kerosene lamps and candles in homes, should be discontinued.

“In the last few years I have embarked on a solar light distribution programme intended to replace the use of open flames as a source of lighting in poorer households. The lights are charged by sunlight in the daytime and last up to 8 hours when fully charged,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister stressed that parents should not neglect their duty to keep their children out of harm’s way.

“Yours is the responsibility of protecting the precious lives of these children who are the future of our country. Stop leaving your children carelessly to die tragic deaths. Be vigilant in protecting your children from harm,” he urged.