Safety can be an overwhelming topic for parents, especially those who are trying to teach their children about all the dangers that lurk around every corner. Make your safety talk a little more fun by changing the way you address it with your children.
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Water safety is one of the first topics you’ll want to cover with kids, but you can do it in a way that is fun for everyone involved. Accidental drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children between the ages of 1 and 19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, so it’s a vital topic to cover.
Try using images of safe behaviors around water, such as wearing a life jacket or flotation device, a young child with a parent in a swimming pool, or someone walking next to a pool, and compare those with pictures of unsafe behaviors. This can help create visuals for what is important when kids are around water.
Many parents choose to discuss fire safety by talking about what to do if a fire broke out in the home. You may take this route by talking about the method of “stop, drop, and roll” if the child or their clothing were to catch fire. It’s also important to have a family plan in place and hold a fire drill so everyone in the household knows what to do.
You can also take steps as a parent to reduce the risk of fire in your own home. Have outdated electrical wiring and fixtures upgraded to make sure they are up to current building codes and avoid using candles or open flames for extended periods of time. You should also have your dryer vent cleaned out regularly as a buildup of lint can increase the risk of a house fire.
In the car, everyone should always have their seatbelt buckled whenever the vehicle is moving. You can make a game out of the importance of wearing a seatbelt by holding a contest to see who can get theirs buckled the fastest. With younger children, encourage them to help move their arms into the car seat straps or buckle the top part, depending on their age and ability levels. Spend some time looking around the car for safety items, such as seatbelts, emergency flashers, jumper cables, etc. and talk about what each one is used for in an emergency.
Safety Around Strangers
It’s also important to make sure your children know how to safely interact with strangers. If you’re not around, ask them what they would do if a stranger approached and offered them something. Role play with different possible situations and reinforce the importance of talking to a parent if they experience anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Keep your children safe by finding fun and memorable ways to teach them about what to do in an emergency, as well as how to avoid dangerous situations. With the right games and activities, you can create an atmosphere of learning that is also enjoyable for everyone involved.