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Important safety rules for kids

Becoming a parent is a momentous decision to say the least. As they say it is like having your heart walk outside of your body. Among other things you are worried about the child’s physical safety. Even when they are at home , it isn’t possible to watch over them every single minute. It is therefore important to teach them some safety rules that have them safe and you relieved. Here is a handy guide:

Know home address and phone number– Soon as the child is ready to step out of home, the one piece of information that you need to spend time ensuring they know is the home address and phone number. That way in times of any emergency they are not left stranded. Having said that, it today’s day and age of over sharing personal information, the child also needs to be coached that this information should not be shared with strangers unless there is an emergency. For older kids who have access to social media, it must be clearly impressed upon them that they must not share any details, passwords etc online. Often times kids unwittingly land up sharing school id cards with personal information online.

Medicine cabinet, a strict no-no– Children need to be taught that the medicine cabinet at home is strictly out of bounds for them. Also, that they cannot take any medication, except under adult supervision.

Keep the doors locked and secure– Another must follow safety tip for kids is that they must not open doors for strangers, if they are home alone.

Emergency numbers– Speaking of the child being home alone, you must have a list of emergency numbers handy which the child must have access to, in case of any emergency. In addition to family contacts it can have other emergency numbers such as the police, fire department and others. The safety rule to remember is also to teach the child what constitutes an emergency for which the police can be reached.

If they are lost- The child must be told that if he or she gets lost in the supermarket, mall or any such place, they should stay wherever they are instead of wandering away. Also that they should reach out to any other parent with a child for help. An important safety tip for kids however is not to go out of the area even with that parent.

Good and bad touch– As soon as the child is old enough to comprehend this information, the difference between good and bad touch must clearly be explained. They must be coached to scream and call for help if ever they feel violated. In fact the three R rule must be made known to each child:

  • Recognize- the areas where you cannot be touched.
  • Resist – Scream, kick, run away
  • Report – This is very important. The child must be told to report even if the perpetrator asks him not to tell anyone.

It is important to teach the child not to keep secrets when what is being done is incorrect or harmful. In fact they need to be reassured that they will not be judged once they come and share the secret they have been asked to keep, with you.

In the context of good and bad touch, another safety rule for kids is for you to teach them real names of body parts so that they can clearly communicate with you in case they have been touched or talked to inappropriately.

Trust their instincts- Above everything teach them to trust themselves and believe their instincts. In fact there isn’t a better way to keep the child safe than to help the child develop a good sense of judgment. It is this one thing that will stand him or her in good stead as they encounter issues such as peer pressure and all kinds of temptation growing up. The one other thing that you need to do is to talk to the child constantly to know what is going on in their life. More than talking it is actually active listening that will come in handy. Overall remember that you cannot prepare the road for the child and will have to prepare the child for the road.

Post Author: Amita Bhardwaj