Keeping the children safe at all times is every parents’ priority. Not all kids are like Macaulay Culkin in ‘Home Alone’, able to tackle any situation on their own. We may not be around them all the time to protect them or watch over them. There are a few essential rules we must teach our children even while they are at home.
#1. Know Your Name, Emergency Contact No. And Address
We must teach our kids to memorize their emergency contact numbers, address as also how to use a phone and ask for help, no matter what their age.
For younger children, it’s a good idea for a list of emergency contacts to be easily accessible. It could be placed in a spot your child can easily reach and identify.
The emergency list should include the contact details of the local police station, fire department, the family doctor, as well as a contact number for each parent, and/or a trusted friend or family member.
#2. Have A Family Code For Emergencies
If you are likely to be out a lot, make a family code for emergencies. Teach the children what the code is. It could be a name, a song, anything that you know your child will remember.
Also, make it clear to them that it has to be used only during times of emergencies. There can be situations where your child may not know how to inform you about emergencies. A code always comes in handy.
#3. Avoid Opening The Door For Strangers
Parents must stress the importance of not allowing strangers onto the property. Children should be encouraged to keep all doors around the house locked and secure. They should also be advised not to open the front door to anyone that they do not recognize, especially when home alone.
Consider installing security cameras around the house so that your kids can view who is at the door without having to jeopardize their safety.
#4. Be Familiar With The Family Escape Plan
You must map out a family escape plan for emergencies and teach your children what measures they can take to escape a certain situation. Your kids must be aware of what measures to take in the case of a burglary, natural disaster, or fire.
In creating your family’s escape plan, the most important thing is to teach your kids the quickest way to get out of the house without panicking.
#5. Teach Them About Water Safety
We may rule out water as a safety hazard but we have to remember that children can easily drown in just a few inches of water, which is why children under the age of six should always be supervised while taking a bath or playing in a pool. Younger children must be taught never to play with water in the bathroom when alone.
Children scald easily and are more vulnerable to burns. To avoid this, children should always be taught to test the temperature of the water, before fully submerging their bodies.
Children should also be reminded never to mix water and electricity as this can lead to electrocution.
Things like toasters, hairdryers, radios, televisions, lamps or anything that is plugged into an electrical socket should never be held with wet hands.
#6. Be Aware Of Food Allergies
This is something we ignore but it is very important to teach your child the importance of understanding what it means to have a food allergy and how to stay safe, in case they have food allergies.
Through clear communication, you can help your child understand the difference between “safe” and “unsafe” foods as well the dangers of consuming foods that affect their wellbeing.
#7. Stay Away From The Medicine Cabinet
Medicines, if not used appropriately can do more harm than good. Parents should always ensure that all medication is stored in a lockable cabinet and is not within easy reach of children. Any type of medication, including those intended for children, can be dangerous for kids if ingested in large quantities.
Young children should always be warned never to take any medication that has not been given to them by their parents or a trusted adult.
For older children who are capable of taking their own medicine, it is still advisable for parents to supervise them to ensure that the correct dosage is consumed.
#8. Avoid Risky Areas
There can be some areas in our own homes that can be risky for them to be in. They should be taught not to get close to heavy furniture such as cupboards, bookshelves, heavy electronic items mounted on the wall. These can cause serious injury if fiddled with. Parents should make a strict rule so their children do not go near these areas.
#9. Don’t Play With Fire
Playing with fire is a strict no-no. While most kids are wary of fire and understand the dangers of it, others are often curious and try to experiment with matches or gas lighters found around the house. Children should be strictly warned to not play with fire at any cost, even if an adult is present at home.
#10 Empower Your Child To Speak Up
No matter if you are at home or away, make your child so comfortable with you that they can share their feelings or anything they have been going through, with you.
Teach your child about good touch and bad touch and empower them enough to understand that it is their body and no stranger or even relatives can inappropriately touch them.
While it may seem that children are the safest at home, we cannot be too sure. These basic rules will ensure that our children are safe at home, with or without us.