Young children are infamous for their inability to comprehend and respond to danger (it’s just one of those things that has us parents constantly stood on the verge of a colossal breakdown). Teaching children to identify hazards and react to them appropriately can take some of the worry out of parenting. Here are some important safety lessons that are worth teaching to kids:
Teach kids to avoid speaking to strangers from an early age. If they are approached by an unfamiliar adult, teach them about how they ought to behave – scream to draw attention to themselves and attract others’ attention, and run. Encourage them to always stay close to familiar adults during outings and to avoid wandering off. When you’re out and about, repeatedly highlight ‘safe points’ – such as information desks or check-outs – where your children can safely go if they become separated from you.
Chemicals in the home
Teach kids to recognize the danger signs on cleaning products and chemicals such as bleach, bathroom cleaners, and all-purpose cleaners. Signs which typically indicate danger are usually either red, orange or yellow in color, and have a cross (‘X’) in the centre of them. Teach kids to know that if these signs are present on an item, the item must be left alone. My Safety Sign has a huge array of signs you can look at to educate your children.
It’s important that all children have an understanding of fire safety, and what to do in the event of a fire. Teach your kids about the most common causes of fire in the home, and how they can be avoided. Show your children the smoke alarm in your home and explain its importance; teach them that if the smoke alarm is heard, their job is to vacate the house. If you have appointed fire safety routes (such as wide-opening windows upstairs in the event that the stairs are blocked), make sure everyone is aware of the routes. If you have an open fire, teach your kids from an early age to avoid it.
Every year, thousands of children are involved in traffic accidents; teaching your children how to cross a road safely is therefore, crucial. Teach young children to only cross the road with an adult’s supervision, and teach older children to look and listen carefully before crossing a road. Teach kids about the traffic light colours and what each color means, as well as what the red and green mean when crossing the road. In recent years, a number of traffic accidents have involved children wearing headphones; encourage kids not to wear headphones when crossing the road, and to always listen out for oncoming traffic.
For some reason, children find plug sockets extremely tempting; in particular, they seem to be obsessed with poking their fingers into the plug holes; catching a child with their hand near a plug socket is enough to make any parent’s heart race. Electric shocks can be extremely serious. Teach children from an early age not to touch plug sockets and to leave plugging and unplugging electric items for adults.