While we all know that bumps, bruises and scraped knees are all par for the course when it comes to being a kid, but there are bigger and far more serious dangers out there than happenstance.
To celebrate Child Safety Week, an event run by by Child Accident Prevention Trust to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented, here are some steps that you can take to ensure your child’s safety—as well as your own peace of mind.
Sadly, we can’t all be this guy:
8. Use Their Voice
Filipinos are, by nature, very accommodating and it’s a trait that we pass on to our kids. This being the case, teach your child to say “no” if they aren’t comfortable with someone—even if they feel they might offend the other person. If they are ever accosted, teach them that it’s alright to kick, scream and struggle to get away and most importantly to yell for help and notify people around them that the person grabbing them isn’t their mother/father/guardian. As much as possible, let them know that should a situation like that ever arise, it is never their fault and that they need to tell you immediately after.
7. Family Planning
No, not that kind of family planning. Devote an evening or two to creating a family plan in case of an emergency. Decide where to meet if you’re separated or coming from different places, and make sure that every child has their phone number as well as yours memorized—keep a list of these somewhere where it is easily seen. Name a Plan B; that is, who they should contact if they can’t reach you, like their grandparents or godparents.
6. Stay Vigilant
There’s a very distinct difference between hearing your kids and actually listening to them. Notice when your kids suddenly bring home new things, especially if they’re gifts from a new “friend” paying them attention. Make sure to talk to them about this person and determine why they’re acting that way towards your child. It’s better to be paranoid and safe than not and sorry.
5. Gadget Consciousness
As tempting as it may be to curb a tantrum or have a little peace and quiet in the house, don’t give in and allow your kids to use their electronics while they’re being charged, and definitely draw the line at allowing them to keep said gadgets in their bedroom overnight.
4. Internet Safety
Don’t give your kids the password to their Android or Apple accounts until you’re sure that they will use them wisely. Don’t forget to turn on the parental controls on their devices (i.e. triple tapping the home button on Apple to go into Guided Access, etc.) and make sure that your internet connection at home is secure. Kids tend to be too trusting, especially online, so it’s up to you as their parent to do what you can to ensure their safety.
3. Childproof Your Home
It may take a bigger investment than you’re prepared for, but even small things like buying caps for outlets, locks for cupboards, and wraps for wires can make a world of difference for your child’s safety at home. Installing a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors is also highly recommended.
And yes, this also means keeping your children safe from yourself.
2. Refrain From Labeling
As cute as it looks (especially in photos to embarrass them with later in life), refrain from placing your child’s name on their clothing or possessions. This could lead abductors and other unscrupulous individuals to put them on a first name basis with your child.
1. Password Protection
The use of secret codes doesn’t stop at their gadgets—employ this concept with conversations with your family as well. Come up with “safety questions” with your kids that you can swear only they will know the answer to. Use this code over the phone or through the door to positively identify each other, or when asking for help in a situation.
There’s really nothing that can replace adult attention and supervision. It’s been proven that kids who feel respected and heard are more open to speaking to adults about their concerns, so don’t forget to take the time out each day to listen to your child—this helps build feelings of safety and security, and at the end of the day, they only have you to run to.
Got any other tips for Child Safety Week? Help a fellow parent out and share them in the Comments Section!