By Vanessa Rasmussen, © 2004, All rights reserved.
Accidents can occur anytime, and anyplace, even in your own house or car. Childhood and adolescence is a very vulnerable phase. Children from such an early age should be taught to protect themselves. However, the onus lies with the parents to ensure proper safety of their children. The following tips may be useful.
- You should not leave a child unattended while shopping, visiting neighbors or friends, or running errands. Under no circumstances should you leave a child alone in a car.
- Parents should make sure that their child memorizes his/her address and phone number at an early age. A second phone number of a friend or relative is also helpful.
- If the child is a latch-key kid, make sure that he or she knows how to keep all doors and windows locked. They should be taught to never let anyone know that they are alone, and more importantly never let anyone in the house.
- Teach your children to scream and run if a stranger approaches them in an alarming manner. The child should be taught to always tell you immediately if he or she is approached by a stranger who asks for help, offers candy/gifts, or frightens him/her in anyway.
- They should be told that they should not give away their personal information to strangers and should not agree to meet anyone personally, especially over the internet. They should be told that people are not always what they claim to be, adults can be posing themselves as children too.
- Unplugged and unused electrical appliances should be kept away in storage.
- Place plants, plastic bags, candy, coins and hot drinks on high counters, tables or surfaces. Keep cleaning products, chemicals and all pharmaceuticals in secured cabinets. This prevents the risk of the child choking on hazardous substances.
- In case of fire, develop an escape plan, practice with your family and teach your child all precautions that should be taken.
- Pills, Bug spray, ointments, etc. should be kept at a safe distance from children. It can be kept in a small suitcase with combination locks.
- Infants and children who are less than 13 years of age should travel in back seat and should be appropriately restrained.
- Teach children to look both sides before crossing the road to prevent accidents.
Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center, http://www.startingadaycarecenter.com.