Every parent wants what’s best for their kids, and much of it has to do with keeping them safe. As children mature, they can’t be monitored by their parents and guardians every minute of every day. That’s why it’s absolutely imperative to teach your kids ways to explore their world while keeping themselves out of danger at the same time.
Age-appropriate safety lessons
When it comes to teaching kids about safety, start with the basics and add new lessons as your child grows and matures.
The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children recommends teaching children to memorise their home address and telephone number as soon as possible. That small yet imperative bit of information can help a little one get home if and when they are ever separated from a parent or guardian.
The ISPCC also recommends that you hold your young child’s hand any time you are together in a public place such as a zoo, grocery store, movie theatre or other location.
You might be surprised at how quickly an untethered child can get lost in a crowd. Holding their hand will ensure that you always keep a very close eye on your toddler.
Travel safety tips for children and their parents
Whether you and your child are travelling across town or taking a trip around the globe, a few savvy safety tips can prevent a tragedy from occurring. Buckle up in safety belts and child seats every time you go any place in your car. When your kid goes on a field trip with their schoolmates, encourage your child to stay close to a teacher or chaperone at all times. When choosing a car, consider options that are more child and family friendly like a Dodge Durango.
Being a parent is a job that comes with plenty of responsibility. There is a gentle art to teaching your child to keep themselves safe without making them afraid to explore this big, beautiful world.
Teach your kids how to stay safe online
The Internet can be a wondrous resource chock-full of valuable information. With a computer, a kid can find practically anything they require to study for tests and complete homework assignments. Unfortunately, they may also find a boat load of inappropriate material.
Pornography is only part of the problem. According to Internet Matters, kids from kindergarten to high school often stumble across unattended chat rooms, violent video games, websites that show animal cruelty, online gambling rooms, websites that promote extremism and/or terrorism, and other unsavory online sites.
To protect your child from unwholesome internet exploration, keep the computer in a family area where you can keep an eye on them at all times. If this plan doesn’t work with your family lifestyle, and your kid has a computer or other internet device in their own room, install a special app that limits their access to adult-oriented sites.
If you or your child does encounter a worrisome website, report the URL to an internet watchdog such as Internet Watch Foundation, True Vision, or ParentPort. Websites that promote any sort of terrorism may be reported to the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, or CTIRU.
Victoria Williams has two kids ages 4 and 7 and enjoys writing parenting articles where she can offer up some practical advice for new mommies as well as share ideas with other parents who know what it’s like!