It’s never too soon to start teaching your kids how to responds to the dangers that lurk in your home and in the outside world. Even small toddlers can be taught to stay away from a hot stove or sharp objects, for example. However, as your kids get old enough to start school, you might begin to worry about what hazards could befall them when they’re no longer under your watchful gaze. Keep in mind that protecting your kids is only a part of your responsibility as a parent; you also need to prepare them to fend for themselves in the outside world. For this reason, there are certain essential safety tips that you must teach your kids so that they can properly protect themselves and even their peers when you’re not around. Here are just a few that should be at the top of your list.
- Stranger danger. Perhaps the greatest threat to children comes in the form of other adults that would use their trusting nature and inexperience to prey on them. This is why it is imperative to talk to your kids about the dangers of interacting with strangers. First, they should never accept gifts from strangers or go with them. Since predators are likely to lie and play on children’s emotions, remind your kids that you will never, ever send a stranger to pick them up from school, not even if you are in an accident. Make arrangements with the school office to have an approved list of people that may pick up your child and then go over it with your kids. You should also teach them to scream and fight if a stranger ever tries to grab them – it could save their lives.
- The buddy system. One of the best ways to keep kids safe is to group them, so make your kids understand the importance of the buddy system. Whether they’re walking to and from school, playing at the park, or coming home from a friend’s house, they need to be with someone. And if they have no buddies on hand, make sure they know to call you for pickup.
- CPR. Young children may be incapable of performing CPR due to physical limitations. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t teach them as they get older. Since many accidents occur when parents aren’t present, teaching kids this basic life-saving technique could mean that another child survives until some sort of authority arrives. This is especially important for homes that have a pool. Even with locked gates, kids may find a way in when you’re not around.
- Personal information. In case of emergency, your kids need to know your home address and phone number. Drill this information into them and test them frequently. If you are injured and need them to call for help, or if they get lost in public, for example, this knowledge will be vital.
- How to get help. You might worry about how your children will react in an emergency situation, but providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to get help should ease your mind. Teach them about when it is appropriate to call 911, as well as how to find authority figures when in public. They can not only approach police, firemen, and other uniformed individuals, but they can go into public spaces like stores to ask clerks for help or even look for safety banners that indicate neighborhood watch or a McGruff house, for example. When your kids know how to get help from adults they should be a lot safer overall.