We all want to keep our children safe and injury free. You can start by teaching your children these five safety tips:
Tip #1: Street Safety. Demonstrate how to look left and right before crossing the street. Teach your kids how to use and obey traffic and safety signals, and to walk on the left hand side of the road (i.e., facing traffic). Explain that cars can’t always see them, and that they must be aware of everything around them at all times. Above all, make sure they understand that they can’t play in the street.
Tip #2: Water Safety. Knowing how to swim is both a fun activity and a potentially life-saving ability. If you don’t know how to swim, consider taking yourself and your children for swim lessons and safety training at a local pool or athletics club. And, never let a young child swim alone. A person can drown or nearly drown in seconds – active supervision is the key to prevention.
Tip #3: Bicycle Safety. Outfit your child’s bike or scooter with reflectors, and make sure he or she wears reflective clothing if riding near dawn or dusk. Discuss the importance of helmets, which can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent, and make sure your kids wear theirs.
Tip #4: Fire Safety. Test your home’s smoke alarms with your children, so they know what the alarms sound like. Explain what to do if one goes off. Teach them to crawl under smoke, and test doorknobs for heat before opening. Discuss your plans for escape and where to meet outside if there’s a fire.
Tip #5: Kitchen Safety. Teach your children how to use the microwave once they’re tall enough to be able to reach in and out of the microwave safely. Tell them that steam and too-hot mugs, glasses and dishes can burn them. Teach them how to test whether something is too hot to carry, and how to avoid hot steam.
And, of course, teaching kids safety is about being a good role model. Children, particularly those under the age of 10, watch everything you do, and they’re more likely to mimic your actions than to follow your instructions. So, remember – safety training starts with you. Follow the five safety tips outlined above, and we bet your kids will, too.