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Strawberry Quick on the loose

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Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
AS MY sister and I then aged about six or seven were growing up with my brother who was two years younger, the highlight of our day was 4 pm (or 16.00 hours Zambian time).
At precisely this time almost every day except weekends, a family friend and dad’s workmate would be walking from the office to his home which was about three houses from ours.
We would eagerly wait for him at our gate because he always had three ‘sweets’ in his pocket which he would happily give us; we later came to learn that the sweets were Smarties chocolate candy.
It did not matter that at times we would be with other mates; he would only produce candy for the three of us and would then continue with his leisurely walk to his home
There was never any suspicion that Mr Mitchum had any ulterior motives, he was just being friendly to his workmate’s children and it is like he never had his family with him because he was always alone whenever he came home to visit.
Fast forward to current times, there so many people out there who prey on the innocence of children for their own personal and wicked reasons.
Children are no longer safe whether it is in the comfort of their home, school or church.
Children now can no longer even eat anything from the neighbour’s home or family friend or relative without the consent of the parents or guardians for fear of being drugged, poisoned or even killed at the hands of merciless predators and perverts.
Children can no longer enjoy the life that most of us took for granted when we were growing up; children have become an endangered species that should be kept under lock and key every minute of the day.
With the beginning of the third term, parents and guardians need to seriously sensitise their children especially younger ones about the dangers of accepting any kind of food especially from strangers who are using schools as hunting grounds.
Apparently, there is now a new drug called ‘strawberry Quick,’ that is being given out in school yards to unsuspecting and innocent children.
It is a type of drug that looks like strawberry pop; it sizzles and ‘pops’ once it is put in the mouth. It also comes in other flavours like chocolate, peanut butter, cola, cherry, grape and orange.
Children should be advised to report to an adult immediately they are offered this kind of candy which brings on serious health complications if and when it is swallowed.
Sensitisation of children should not be left to parents and guardians with school going children, but it should be collective responsibility by all those who have the interest of children as a way of raising awareness with the hope of preventing imminent possible dangers of tragedies from happening.
The world is now a more dangerous place, a far cry from the one most of us have fond memories of. Life then was uncomplicated, child-friendly where everything was done in the best interest of a child which is different from the current situation where the safety of children is no longer priority.
Remember, children are our future, until next week, take care.
For comments: pcma¬lawochilufya@yahoo.com

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