As babies grow into becoming toddlers and pre-schoolers they become more independent. It’s critical that parents introduce safety skills early, in a fun, playful way to raise children’s awareness of their environment and build confidence and competence in responding to strangers and unsafe scenarios. As a parent you may want to always be nearby. But sometimes it is impossible. You must let your child venture out without you. There are places where your kid will meet others in your absence, for example, at school. Your child may also need to be at the day care or at home with a nanny. Also, it is important to prepare your child for basic safety steps in the event of an emergency.
Some tips on how to develop awareness:
- Rule number one;
Children need to know your name, your contact numbers and address.
- Have discussion with your children about safety. Hear what they have to say. Always keep communication open, they need to feel comfortable with telling you anything.
- Safety Rehearsals:
Prepare a ‘’safety drill” for dangerous situations that might occur in your home, in a public space or at school.
- Recite emergency contact numbers.
- What to do when some stranger knocks on the door.
- What to do if you can’t find me in a shopping centre or supermarket.
- What do you do when a stranger offers you candy.
- What to do when a fire starts.
- How to sound the alarm.
- Lead by example. Children often mimic what they see from their parents.
- Forming habits. For example, buckling up when getting into a vehicle should become second nature from an early age.
- Form a set of golden rules:
- Do not eat anything from a stranger.
- Playing with fire is not allowed.
- You are the boss of your body.
- Do not play with electricity.
- Do not play near water unattended.
- Look both ways when crossing the road.
- Stay away from sharp objects.
It is important to create awareness as soon as your child is able to understand, they need to have the skills to handle questionable situations and respond instinctively in dangerous situations.