Whether it’s the start of the school year or summer break, it’s always a good time to teach your kids about home safety. It’s important that kids know how to call for help and get to safety during emergencies. It’s equally crucial that they know how to help prevent avoidable accidents such as fires and falls. By the time your kids reach the double digits, they should know the essential do’s and don’ts around the home. Here are some tips to help guide your lesson plan.
Fires are one of the leading causes of preventable death and injury. Make sure your kids know how to call 911 in the event of a fire and how to safely escape the home. Practice the stop, drop, and roll drill, low crawling, and escaping the home from different rooms. Also, be sure to talk to your kids about fire prevention. Below are some helpful talking points:
- Never play with lighters or matches inside the home, especially around gasoline tanks or appliances.
- Clean up toys from hallways, stairs, and other areas with heavy traffic to minimize fire hazards.
- Never leave an active burner unattended. Kitchen mishaps account for an alarmingly high proportion of house fires.
- Avoid playing with electrical cords and wires. Unplug all electrical devices when not in use, and use a surge protector if possible.
If your kids are staying home alone for the first time, make sure they know how to respond if a stranger tries to enter your home. They should know to lock all doors and windows and to turn on a few lights if it gets dark outside. They should never open the door for someone they don’t recognize. If they notice a stranger attempting to force their way in, they should call the police and find a safe place to hide. If you have a home security system, make sure your kids know how to arm it and manually sound the alarm. Many home monitoring companies provide one-touch key fobs with their security packages. This device lets your kids alert authorites without having to dial a number or speak out loud, helping them get help faster and more discreetly.
Teach your children the right way to use home cleaning products such as dish soap, detergents, rubbng alcohol, baking soda, and vinegar. Make sure they know never to ingest these substances and never to mix incompatible chemicals such as bleach and ammonia, which create deadly mustard gas. Try to minimize the number harsh chemical products in your home, and opt for organic cleaning products such as biodegradable oil cleaners and fruit and vegetable extract sprays.
Parents often overlook the importance of educating their kids about internet safety. Child predators, identity thieves, and other shady characters are always looking for new opportunities. Make sure your kids know never to access suspicious websites, chat with strangers, or give out personal information about you or themselves. Keep your credit card numbers, bank account information, and passwords secure, and warn your kids not to make unauthorized purchases without your permission. Depending on your internet service provider, you may be able to set parental controls for an added layer of security. Check your browsing history to see if your kids accessed any prohibited sites.