The mother of a six-year-old girl who was killed by her father has urged people to keep an eye on children during the heightened stress of the Covid-19 lockdown, to prevent future tragedies.
Keziah Flux-Edmonds was drowned by her depressed father Darren at her home in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, on June 1, 2016, before he killed himself.
Her mother, Nikki Flux-Edmonds, 52, has said people have a responsibility to watch out for danger signs to ensure that other children do not become victims.
She told the PA news agency: “I can’t help thinking about her death and how I’d be dealing with it if it was now. All alone and isolated.
“How even her funeral would not be the comfort it was, with so many people there.
“It also makes me think how many children may be at risk right now, unknown and unsupported. Unknown is the most worrying.”
She continued: “Facebook gives so many positive views of how people are teaching children etc.
“Yet there are children who are constantly shouted at, low on food, left alone, while the parent goes to the shop or sneaks out. Ignored or constantly told to shut up.
“There may be alcohol or drugs around them constantly. Their parents may be depressed and unable to function at all.
“There are loads of people observing that people are going out in big groups or shopping unnecessarily.
“Why not spend time to just listen and watch how your neighbour’s children are? Is there a mixture of laughter and shouting or just shouting. If they are in the garden are they happy or listless.
“You know the sounds of family life and general mayhem, but is this different, subtly harsher, too much silence?”
Mrs Flux-Edmonds added: “I couldn’t save Keziah, I didn’t know it was coming, didn’t know the signs.
“If you recognise a difference in your neighbour’s behaviour, especially with their children, call for help.
This isn't trying to get their children taken away, this is getting help at an exceptionally stressful timeNikki Flux-Edmonds
“This isn’t trying to get their children taken away, this is getting help at an exceptionally stressful time.
“If your neighbour showed signs of a heart attack you’d call an ambulance. If a child is suffering, call for help. You are the difference, always.”
The appeal by Mrs Flux-Edmonds comes as the Isle of Wight Council issued guidance to anyone concerned for a child advising them to listen to the child and take them seriously, not to delay and to seek support and protection for them.
Concerns should be raised with the local authority’s child protection teams or the police in an emergency.
Support groups have reported an increase in domestic violence since the Covid-19 lockdown started.
Paul Brading, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills at Isle of Wight Council, said: “In these difficult times, we all have a responsibility to look out for one another and this is particularly relevant for the well-being and protection of our children.”