As parents, it’s natural that they would want to keep their children safe and free from harm. However, they can’t always be by their side every minute of the day. It is, therefore, their responsibility to teach their kids about personal security and how to keep themselves safe when parents or a trusted adult is not around. Here are some safety tips that all children, no matter the age, should be familiar with.
- Kids should know where the emergency contact list is located
No matter the age, all children should be able to operate a telephone or mobile phone and call for help. Parents should also encourage them to memorize important contact information as well as teach them how to react to home emergency situations. Depending on the child’s age, parents can use role-playing so children are familiar and knowledgeable when it comes to dangerous situations.
Children above speaking age should also know how to recite their name, age, and address, as well as their parent’s contact information. If the child is too young to memorize a lot of information, a list of emergency contacts should be available and easily accessible. It can be placed somewhere centrally located such as the fridge door. The list can include local police contact details, paramedics, fire department, as well as the contact number of parents and older siblings and, even a trusted family friend.
- Know how to operate the security system
Most homes nowadays have a decent security system to keep it secure especially at times when there’s no one at home. But it’s important that everyone who lives inside, even young children should know how to arm the system in case of emergencies. Whether it is to deactivate a false alarm or to let themselves in after school, they should be familiar with operating the security system.
It’s also important to stress that this kind of information should not be shared with anyone, even their close friends; that disarming the home security system is information that should remain within members of the family. Being children already familiar with social media, telling others how to disarm the security system is similar to giving other people access to their social media account, it has serious consequences that could put them, and the entire family, in danger.
- Never open doors for strangers
This one is something everyone has been told not to do and for good reasons. Children, by their very nature, are naturally curious and very much keen on exploring. A doorbell ringing or someone knocking at the door can cause much excitement for them, often rushing quickly to the door to open it even before knowing who is on the other side. Parents should stress how important it is not to open doors to strangers and that doing so could be very dangerous for them and the entire family.
In fact, many parent groups have advised discouraging small children from ever opening the door altogether. Children old enough to be left alone at home should be lectured about asking the identity of visitors before opening the door for them. Consider installing a spy wireless camera at the front door with an interior screen so there would be no need to open the door to know who’s on the other side.
- Familiar with the escape plan for the family
When it comes to home safety, one important concept all children should know and familiar with is the family emergency escape plan. It is imperative that kids are aware of what to do in case of home burglary, fire, or natural disaster. In creating a family escape plan, one of the most important things is teaching kids the quickest way to get out of the house.
For young children, parents can use a diagram that best highlights the best escape path out of the house. Once outside, an area should also be designated as the gathering spot, where the rest of the family will meet up so everyone’s safety can be accounted for.
- Water safety practice
Even a few inches of water is enough for children to drown in which is why there should always be a supervising adult for children taking baths or playing in the pool. Also, kids have more sensitive skin, which means they will get sunburned far easier than adults. Emphasis on sun protection should be inculcated in children even at a young age.
To avoid scalding, children should be taught to test the temperature of the water before stepping into the tub. They should also be reminded never to mix water and electricity as it can cause injurious or fatal electrocution. Electrical appliances like toasters, televisions, hairdryers, lamps or anything that’s plugged should never be touched with wet hands.
And lastly, as early as possible, children should be taught life-saving swimming skills and other floating techniques and not to panic when in the water. If the child is still learning how to swim, parents should take care to remind them to always wear a floatation device or water gear before getting into the pool.
- Know not to touch the medicine cabinet
Parents should take care that the medicine cabinets in their homes are lockable and out of the reach of children. Medications, even those intended for children, can be very dangerous if ingested in large amounts. Young children should also be reminded that they shouldn’t take any medication that has not been given to them by their parents or an adult that’s trusted. For children old enough to take their own medication, adult supervision is still important to ensure that the proper dosage is taken.
- Avoid playing with fire
For most kids, avoiding far is quite common. However, there are kids who are a little more curious and have the tendency to play with gas lighters or matches that they find around the house. Regardless, kids must be taught the reason why it’s important that they should avoid playing with fire in the first place. Parents should stress how dangerous playing fire can be, and that it can cause injury to themselves and even cause a fire. Even when an adult is present is at home; match sticks they find should be thrown into the garbage can and gas lighters left alone.
- Trusting their feelings
Even from a young age, children should be taught to trust their instinct and gut in order to keep them safe. Parents should explain to them that should they be in a situation where they feel something’s not right or they are uncomfortable, they should pull themselves away from the situation or person immediately. If the child has a cellphone, they can text other members of a family secret code if they can’t call them. This is another situation where role-playing can help children understand how to react to this kind of situation.
- Not to keep unsafe secrets
Finally, the last thing all kids should remember is not to keep dangerous secrets from other family members, especially parents. Criminals and pedophiles usually encourage children to keep their activities a secret. It’s important that parents explain to children the difference between safe secrets and unsafe ones.
Safety should be a priority for all parents. They might not be able to be with their children 24/7; they can certainly prepare them should an emergency situation arise.
Sarah Brooks is an ardent blogger and frequent traveler who writes about home improvement, travel, and the latest trends on emerging technologies. She is currently working with EyeSpySupply, which offers a wide range of surveillance equipment, including spy wireless camera, nanny cams, GPS trackers, voice-activated audio recorders and more.