Safety at home has always been a major concern with families, especially when both parents are in the workforce, and technology makes our lives incredibly transparent.
Having safety expectations with your child should start at a young age and should be reinforced through on-going conversations and role modelling. There is no wrong time to start teaching children about safety, potential dangers and how to deal with any situations that arise.
Here’s a look at some effective ways to inform your children on safety street-savvy lessons while simultaneously instilling good habits that will stick with them for a lifetime.
Teach your child what to do in an emergency
- If someone is hurt or showing signs of a heart attack, teach them how to dial ‘000’.
- Go over various situations and practice with them, teaching them what they need to do.
- Have emergency contact details available in print beside the telephone at the child’s height where necessary.
- An app like Triple Zero Kids Challenge can help them understand more about emergency calls.
Talk to them about Stranger Danger
- Stress repeatedly to your child to never open the door under any circumstance
- Whether it’s someone that he or she is familiar with, tell them that they should always call a family member present at home to attend to the person at the door.
- This includes not providing information to phone calls from anonymous persons.
Educate about Fire Safety and Hot Surfaces Around our Home
Advise them of the dangers of playing with:
- Matches, lighters or electrical appliances
- They should tell a grown up if these are found unattended.
Be mindful of the areas that your child can access, this includes:
- electrical points and appliances
- hot water taps and stove tops
Stress that they should stay away from these areas.
Teach them what they should do if a fire was to occur in their home. Practice exit routes and find a safe place to meet at a safe distance away from your home. Having them prepared is better than having them scared. Teach them to, ‘Stop, Drop, Cover and Roll’ in case of a fire situation.
The Importance of Staying Away from Natural Threats
As children spend time playing in their outdoor yards, they would possibly come across threats which consist of things like:
- Snakes and spiders
- Poisonous frogs, or poisonous plants or mushrooms
When educating your child to stay away from such threats, keep to the facts and stay positive towards these living things. However, do ensure that they follow simple house rules like:
- checking their shoes/ boots before wearing them outdoors
- Keep a look out for natural threats (for example, spiders’ webs) inside and outside the house.
- Encourage your child to let you know so that you can get rid of them.
Staying Away from Poisonous Substances
Young children like to explore, often by putting things in their mouths or might often copy adult behaviour. They might be curious to consume products, such as medicine or cleaning agents, without knowing the dangers. Don’t tell kids that medicines are candy. That may encourage children to eat them. This is also true for vitamins.
Educate them that certain products and substances can hurt them and remind them consistently to not touch them. Ensure that all poisonous substances are kept out of reach of children.
In teaching children lessons on safety, it is vital that you consider their developmental phase and their capability so as not to overwhelm them.
It’s also essential that fear is not instilled; instead it is good to always encourage awareness and self-assurance in them.
In return, taking the time to teach your child these essential life lessons will give you the peace of mind knowing that they are informed and prepared. Simple safety lessons reinforced consistently each day will go a long way in helping our little friends stay consciously safe.