RESIDENTS across North Ayrshire should keep their eyes open for children at risk during the school holidays.

In the week that schools sound the end-of-term bell, Child Protection Committees across Scotland are encouraging the public across the whole country to be extra observant to help protect potentially vulnerable children when school’s out for summer.

Child Protection Committees Scotland, a nation-wide grouping of child protection professionals, hopes their ‘Eyes Open’ campaign will raise awareness that members of the public can play an important role to keep children safe from harm in the holidays.

The group believes that everyone is responsible for child welfare in Scotland.

Independent Chair of North Ayrshire Child Protection Committee Anne Houston said: “Children in North Ayrshire are about to be away from the usual school routine for a few weeks.

“For most local children this is a time of year filled with fun and free time, but for some families the summer holidays is a time of increased stress and pressure.”

Ms Houston continued: “In some cases, children are not supervised or cared for adequately, others might even experience serious neglect.” Not only does the campaign support a public Eyes Open approach, it also encourages us to speak up instead of staying silent.

Anyone who has concerns about a child or children can ask the child if they’re okay, offer the family some support, or contact the Health and Social Care Partnership office on 01294 310300 or out-ofhours service on 0800 328 7758.

If the child is in immediate danger, contact the police by telephoning 101 or in an emergency 999.