Teaching “Child Safety” is a hard subject to start with our kiddos. We want their world to be full of rainbows and lollipops. The truth of the matter is, in order for our properly planned safety talks to work, they have to be PREVENTATIVE.
We do not want to wait till our little one has had a scary experience to teach them how to properly handle it. Kids like simple. In order to really remember things, kids may need simple. Breaking safety steps down by location can help them keep the “safety steps” organized in their quickly growing brains.
Home should be a safe place, which makes it a great place for safety talks to start!
Phone Numbers & Address
911 – Talk to your kids about who will answer their call, that it’s only for emergencies when something bad has or can happen. Tell them that this same number is for police, fire, and medical emergencies.
Phone Number – if your kiddo is old enough, teach them your phone number. If they are lost anywhere, they can get a hold of you! If you have a land line, have them call back and forth from home to the cell or try teaching the number to the tune of their favorite song. Here is a great worksheet to help them practice recalling both your number and 911!
Address – obviously important, so we’ll move on.
Stranger Danger …part 1
Set good examples for your kiddo by using the peephole to see who is outside before opening the door. If you don’t know the person, talk to strangers through a closed LOCKED door. It’s also helpful to teach kids the “less is more” principle. It’s non of the strangers business what mommy is doing or if no one is home. Just say “they aren’t available” and walk away.
Computer Danger – your doors may be locked and top security system on, but strangers have a direct access to your home and loved ones through the internet. Talk to your children about how just because you can’t see people on the internet, doesn’t mean they aren’t real. They are still strangers. When your kids are old enough, teach them about predators and the very real danger.
Tips: Keep the computers in common areas. Check your history regularly. And Listen to your instincts! Computer privacy is not a right and until they pay for that internet, they are just “renting”.
Knowledge is Power
Know your kids’ friends – know their names, addresses, phone numbers, parents names / numbers, and even when their parents are generally home. Don’t be fooled by the old “duh there’s an adult, Jimmy’s uncle is visiting”… we know Jimmy doesn’t have an uncle.
Keep Records & Backups – IN A SAFE PLACE keep copies of recent documents on file (shots, medications, maybe a birth certificate photo copy). It’s also good to have their fingerprints and a recent picture handy. Do one of those fingerprint tree art projects so it’s not so creepy getting the print!
Basic Safety for Parents
Have a Fire Safety plan and show your kids the route. Make a fun game of finding the fastest way out of the house. Show them how to use the fire extinguisher and teach the STOP, DROP, and ROLL technique. Advise them on smoke dangers and how to use your shirt to help. Finally pick a spot outside to meet in case you are separated.
Lock It Up – keep poisons locked up and have the Poison Control number written somewhere easy to find (800-222-1222). Make sure electrical outlets are locked with safety plugs and teach the kiddos to respect the dangers of outlets and appliances the use electricity (if you have an older child, show them where the circuit box is and how to use it). Keep the pool locked up! Be present at all times around pools, bathtubs, or even the mop bucket.
Choking – if you haven’t gotten CPR certified, it’s ok. Knowing the heimlich maneuver for infants through adults could save a life in an emergency. Keep small objects (change, toys, and buttons) off of the floor and out secured out of reach.
In Public or At School
Stranger Danger …part 2
Safe Strangers – explain to your kiddo that strangers are anyone they don’t know – adults, boys, girls, even babies. Not everyone is out to hurt them, but it’s hard to know the difference. We shouldn’t take candy, presents, or food from people we don’t know and we definitely shouldn’t go for walks or rides with strangers. If a stranger says that a parents sent them or said it’s ok, they need to give you a password.
Create this secret password for your kids that will let them know who’s safe in case of an emergency or even just a different person doing carpool.
Traps – when you feel your kiddos are ready, teach them about the different stories people will tell to gain trust. Here is a video that explains the most common traps and makes you feel like it’s the 80’s again.
Getting Lost or Separated
It’s going to happen at some point, even for just a second. Teach these 4 easy steps for a safe return and remind them of the steps every time you go somewhere.
1. Stop: teach them to stay frozen in place (unless they’re in the road). Assure them that you will be looking for them, so they can’t wander around.
2. Find a helper: the police aren’t always around, but other Moms are. Teach them to find a mom with kids, they are most willing to help.
3. Phrase: teach your kiddo a simple phrase like “I can’t find my mommy” or “I’m lost” to say to their helper.
4. Information: the helper needs to know a phone number to call and maybe medical information (allergies, meds, etc). Safety Alert Bracelets and Necklaces for kids are so important I cannot stress it enough. If your little one is scared, they probably can’t remember your number. If they know just to show the helper where they have information listed, they can be returned safely to you.
- Teach kiddos what’s the right gear for the sport and that they have to wear it. Make sure they have the right fit, especially head gear.
- If they get hurt stay down. Kids don’t want to let the team down or look silly, so they may try to get up after a serious injury.
- Know the signs of a concussion
On The Road
Carseats and More
– Whether our kids are in carseats, booster seats, or just need a seatbelt, make sure they are in them properly every time. By ensuring everything is adjusted, anchored, and up to date, we can avoid unnecessary injuries!
– No loose objects in the car. Even a pacifier can become a projectile in a car upon impact. The simple rule I’ve seen is: If you wouldn’t throw it at your kid, keep it secure.
– Show kids they need to walk around cars and that they can’t always be seen in rear view mirrors.
– Keep on the sidewalk and watch for cars backing up or turning
– Cross at the right places and learn the street signs. Here’s a simple worksheet for a little younger kids!
– Before crossing make eye contact with the driver
Don’t forget! Before getting into someone’s car: What’s the password?
Every year, 64,000 children end up in the emergency room for medicine poisoning.
1 of every 13 kiddos suffers from a food allergy.
If your child has a chronic medical condition, especially one that requires medications, they need to have some form of medical alert jewelry. In case of an emergency your child may not remember or be able to assist medical personnel.
Child Safety Bracelets are for ALL kids!
Safety bracelets are designed for all kids, not just for those with a medical condition. With so much safety information to remember, your kiddo needs all the help they can get. Make finding you easy and stylish with any of our safety alert bracelets.
Andie Huber with Mom.me designed a great infographic for Safe Smart Rules for Kids. I love almost everything she has on her list; my favorite “rules” are:
1. I don’t have to be polite if someone makes me feel scared or uncomfortable. I can say NO to an adult!
this one speaks volumes to me since I was brought up to be polite and respectful of my “elders”. Kids brains work in such illogically logical ways it can be hard for them to reason in a split second whether ‘defying’ an adult will get them into trouble.
2. I ask permission before I go anywhere, change plans, or take something (even from a person I know). If I can’t check first, the answer is NO.
3. I listen to my inner voice, especially if I get an “uh-oh” feeling.
What a great way to describe that feeling of unease! Guilt is a learned feeling/behavior, but we are born with that innate sixth sense (like a vocal fight or flight response) to keep us alive.
4. ADULTS DON’T ASK KIDS FOR HELP. They ask other adults.