When it comes to keeping your child safe, “better safe than sorry” means planning ahead and being proactive in avoiding and preventing accidents. Child safety includes training kids how to anticipate dangerous situations and avoid them, and how to respond when hazards arise. Create a checklist that covers some of the more basic hazards children may face.
Regularly quiz your children on safety precautions and procedures
What to Eat
To prevent children from ingesting adult medicines, dangerous cleaning liquids or other hazardous materials, discuss with your children not only what they should avoid putting in their mouths, but where they can get food. A good rule of thumb for kids is that they should only eat familiar foods from the refrigerator or certain drawers or cupboards in the kitchen. Let kids know they should never put any objects in their mouths they might find in the bathroom, garage, car, outdoors, basement or other areas you specify. You can increase child safety by putting stickers on cupboards and cabinets that are the only ones that contain safe foods.
Make sure children have multiple safe routes to leave the house during a fire, tornado, if an intruder enters the home or under other dangerous circumstances. Walk the escape routes during the day to help children learn them. After walking the routes with your child, let her walk them alone as you wait at the other end. Wake her from a nighttime sleep and have her walk the route in the dark. Teach kids how to stay low during a fire to avoid smoke inhalation. Once they are outside, they should know where to go for help.
Safety Precautions & Emergency Actions
Train your children how to use the phone, including how to dial 911 and where to find non-emergency numbers such as your office, the electric company or neighbors. Let children know where they can find fire extinguishers and teach them how to use them. Teach them how to put out a fire on the stove using flour, towels or other items that won’t cause spattering and potential injury, as will water when thrown on a grease fire.
Especially during warm weather, children will be around pools, ponds and lakes and should understand the hazards associated with the water. Teach them never to go in or even near a pool, lake or pond without an adult present. Follow the United States Lifeguard Association’s recommendation of always swimming with a buddy. Teach children to get out of the water any time they see lightning. When swimming in a pool, their first task should be to locate any drains or pumps that create suction and can injure or drown them if they are trapped against them. If a friend falls in the water, your child should go for help, rather than entering the water to attempt a rescue.
American Academy of Pediatrics: Sun and Water Safety Tips