Every responsible parent is concerned about their children’s safety. At the same time, it is important for kids to socialize at a young age and be able to have a certain level of freedom to grow and develop independence. It’s all about finding a healthy balance, which can be tough.
The good news is, you can implement some basic safety rules for your children to abide by. This will help them become more aware of how they can protect themselves when you are not around.
The following is an excerpt from an article published by the Safety, Health & Consumer Council. To view the article in its entirety, click here.
Safety at Home
Do not open the door for strangers. Instruct your kids to keep the doors locked and secure at all times, and only open the door for familiar faces. Let them know that if any stranger rings the doorbell, they should stay quiet and not open the door. This is especially important if your kids are old enough to be home alone. If you haven’t already, consider installing some security cameras so that your family members can safely and easily see who’s at the door.
Know the family escape plan. Time is of the essence during an emergency, so it’s essential to have a solid family escape plan in place. Spend a family night discussing home safety and the potential escape routes should a disaster take place. It’s imperative that your children know what measures to take if they are faced with a ﬁre, burglary, or any other disaster. When creating an escape plan, the key is to devise the quickest way to get out of the house, and make sure that everyone in the family is on the same page and understands their role in ensuring everyone’s safety.
Be able to use the security system. Is your home equipped with a security system? If so, your children will beneﬁt greatly from knowing how to use it. First and foremost, explain to them the importance of keeping security system information conﬁdential. For example, if a key code of some sort is used to either activate or deactivate an alarm, then that code should not be shared with anyone else outside of family. Show your kids how to arm and disarm the alarm system, and locate and activate any panic buttons.
Safety in Public
Know full name, phone number, and address. Basic contact details are the most important for your child to know and memorize. This way, they are able to share this information with police or any authorized oﬃcial in case of an emergency. Take walks around your neighborhood and home with your child often so that they become familiar with nearby landmarks. If possible, also have your child memorize an emergency contact phone number. This could belong to a grandparent, aunt or uncle, for example.
Lost? Stay put. If your kids ever get lost somewhere, tell them to remain calm and stay where they are. Let them know that they can ask a woman with children nearby for help if they see them. Usually, kids get lost in supermarkets. If yours ever gets lost in one, tell them that they can go up to the checkout section of the store and seek help.
Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right. Growing up, children may feel pressured to do things that they don’t necessarily feel comfortable doing. Common examples include taking clothes oﬀ in front of others, diving in a pool, or eating/drinking something that may seem a little oﬀ. Teach your kids that if their gut tells them no, they should listen to it. As long as they feel uncomfortable, they should never feel pressured to do something no matter how many other people are doing it. In the event that they do not feel like doing something, show them how they can politely decline in various scenarios.
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