7 Important Safety Lessons to Teach Your Kids

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7 Important Safety Lessons to Teach Your Kids

November 22, 2017

Written by: Lana Hawkins

Parents worry about many things, but their biggest nightmare is something happening to their children. And all the scary things that can be heard on the news every day are not helping with that fear. In fact, now is the perfect time to teach your kids how to stay safe. Here are some of the most important safety lessons your kids should be aware of.

How to cross the street

Do you ever notice how you never fail to look left and right when crossing the street? It might seem automatic and natural to you now, but you actually have your parents to thank for that. Now it’s time for you to teach your child the right way to safely cross the street. First look at the traffic lights together. Green means go, and red means stop. However, if your kid still doesn’t know colors, traffic lights also show a person walking and standing, so use those visual cues. The next step is to teach them to look left, then right and then left again. If there are no cars in sight or if all the cars are patiently waiting, it’s safe to cross. As your kid grows up, you can let them take charge until they are ready to cross alone. Never look at your phone while crossing and never jaywalk in your child’s presence. It’s a horrible example.

Internet safety

Kids today start using the Internet quite young, before they become aware of potential dangers lurking on the virtual pages. So, talk to your children about information they should never share online, such as their address, phone number, school and photos. Monitor their online activity often.

Don’t play with fire

Kids are incredibly curious and they’ll play with anything that looks interesting to them, which often involves matches and lighters. That’s why you should teach them about fire safety very early on. Teach them about signs of a fire (distinct smell and smoke) and get them to learn fire escape routes at home, just like they do at school. Teaching them to stop, drop and roll is also important because it can mean the difference between life and death.

Don’t open doors for strangers

Many parents teach their kids the “stranger danger” rule and not to open doors for people they don’t know, no matter if it’s the postman, delivery man or someone in distress. However, there are also appropriate responses to doorbells you can teach them. For instance, if someone at the door asks for a parent and the kids are home alone, your kid can say something like “My dad is busy now, come back later.” If someone is claiming to be hurt and is asking for help, the best response is “I’ll call 911 for you right now”. If they’re hurt, professionals will come to the rescue, but if they have any ulterior motives, they will probably leave. If you also install good safety entrance doors, those will allow your kid to see who’s knocking without opening the door.

Teach them about 911

Explain to your children what 911 service does, who they are and when and how your child can get them on the phone. Discuss possible emergency situations and establish when it is and isn’t appropriate to make a call.

What is consent?

Learning about consent is another important factor in child safety education. If you want your kids to avoid abusive situations, explain to them that they have the right to decide who touches them and where. Consent is a complicated thing for kids to understand, so you could start by teaching them it’s polite to “Ask people before you touch them” and “Stop means STOP”. Additionally, never force your kids to give hugs and kisses if they don’t want to. However, also teach them about respect, so you can ask them to shake hands or give high fives.

Trust your gut

Try hard to get your kids to develop their instincts and trust them. Oftentimes, kids know something is wrong, even if you never actually taught them. So, if they get into any situation that makes them feel weird or scared, they will listen to that little voice telling them to get away.

Remember that it’s never too early to start with safety lessons, so don’t hesitate to discuss these subjects with your kids. Additionally, you can join a Mom and Tot program where you can meet with professionals and other parents and get more advice.

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