10 Child Safety Tips & Ways for Parents to Safeguard Your Child
Created by Anurima Updated on Nov 06, 2019
"Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless" ~ Author Unknown
While we as parents make every attempt to keep our children safe, we can’t be with them everywhere. For such times, it is important to educate and prepare the child about his personal safety and how he should ensure he keeps himself safe.
I had once come across the above quote and it instantly struck a chord in me. Keeping our children safe should be our top priority. We are constantly bombarded by messages on the television and in the newspaper on how some child’s safety was compromised, which makes us wonder at how safe our child is? But, eventually, I also believe, that we need to make our child aware of the lurking dangers, so that he can take care of himself when we are not there to help him. Helping them understand the simple rules of safety, in a calm manner is something that works most of the time. [Know - What Child Safety Measures Questions to Ask the School?]
Ways to Teach Children to Be Safe [Age-wise]
Let's understand the way you need to talk to your child of different age groups. This blog shares with you some very important aspects of educating your child to be safe.
If Talking to a Very Young Child(Less Than 3 Years Old)
A child may be explained calmly that most people are good but there still are some people who may hurt children. If we sound anxious when talking about safety issues, they will pick up on the anxiety which could scare them and confuse them. This could lead to fear. Instead of instilling fear within them, we need to create awareness. For example, to help my daughter understand that people can harm, I tell her a short story. The stories differ to adapt to situations, but one story which made things really clear for her was the story of the Little Red Riding Hood. A person, meaning to harm, is like the wolf who wanted to hurt little Red Riding Hood. Explaining the importance of personal safety with the help of short stories, which they can relate to, will make things clear.
If Talking to Child of Age 3-7 Years
Children between the ages of 3 years to 7 years may not understand the concept of kidnapping and physical abuse. When explaining to them, direct words or phrases such as the following may be avoided:
- They may hit/punch you
- Pull you by your hair or drag you
- Forcefully take you to a dark, lonely place
Using such phrases may leave them scared. On the other hand, gentle/reassuring words or phrases such as the following may be used:
- They may try to hurt you
- They will try to take you away from mummy
- Mummy/daddy will be very sad if someone tries to hurt or take you away
- You are a very brave girl/boy
- You can shout and scream if someone tries to hurt you
- Mummy/daddy will always look after you and listen to you
If Talking to Older Child [Above 7 Years]
Children beyond the age of 7 years may be explained in more detail. They may be told that there are people, who may want to take them away or kidnap for some money or want to hurt them by touching their private parts, which is inappropriate and it needs to be reported to an adult immediately. Words of reassurance and encouraging them to share details about their activities on a daily basis will improve communication, increase self-confidence and create awareness.
Tips to Help Children to Safe Themselves
Here are a few tips to help your child understand how to keep themselves safe. Read below...
1. Talk About Good Touch & Bad Touch
Danger may not always come from strangers. Sometimes, even known people can cause harm to your child. The child has to be taught the concept of personal safety. One way of doing this is helping them understand the concept of the good and the bad touch. Young children may be explained which areas of their bodies are private and cannot be touched by anyone. They may be made to differentiate between shaking hands or playfully patting on the back and between patting the chest area or being touched around the thighs. Encouraging older children to follow their own instincts and not trusting people, who they feel uncomfortable around, may help them understand the concept of being safe. [Read - How to Teach Your Child About Good Touch & Bad Touch?]
2. Who Is A Stranger? Where Is The Danger?
For most children, the image of a stranger might be someone like a villain from a cartoon. It may be rather difficult for a young child to understand that a stranger who can harm maybe that nice-looking uncle who is dressed well, stretching his/her hand out with a piece of chocolate or luring promises. As a parent, we need to make our children aware of their own safety standards.
However, research has shown that a child is likely to be harmed more by an acquaintance than a stranger, as it is easier for a child to trust a familiar face. [Read - Ways to Ensure Child Safety inside the School]
3. Encourage Your Child to Talk to You
Establishing a bond with your child and having a medium of open communication is a great way to help your child confide in you from time to time. This way, any experiences or apprehensions, which need attention, may come out in the open and can be dealt with immediately.
4. Teaching Them About Safe People
Children can be made aware of the people they can approach if lost, separated from an adult or if they feel they are being followed or watched by a stranger. People such as security guards in malls, cashiers or employees at stores, policemen, teachers at the school may be approached for help. To assure the safety of young children when in crowded public places, you may attach a small tag that may be hidden inside their clothes, with their name, address, and contact number. They can be made aware of how and when to use the tag for example, if lost or separated in a crowded place, they can approach any one of the safe people and show the tag.
5. Teach Your Child to Be Assertive
It is ok to refuse gifts or candies and say no to someone who may offer them a ride home in their car or intend to show something.
6. Games & Role Play
These enact situations mentioned above may help children get a clearer idea of what to do if faced with any of the circumstances. Reminding and reinforcing will only make things clearer for them.
7. Encourage Child to Play in Group
Encourage Your Child to play in a group and not wander off alone for a safety perspective.
8. Try Memorize Child Their Home Address
Children as young as the age of 5 years may be taught to memorize their home address, phone numbers and mobile numbers of their parents. An easy way to help them memorize is by adding a tune and teaching the numbers like a song. In addition to knowing their home address and numbers, children above the age of 8 years may also be taught to memorize emergency numbers, such as 100 for Police, 108 for a medical emergency and 102 for a fire emergency. They may save these important numbers along with the mobile numbers of their parents, neighbors or close relatives on speed dial. If ever they feel threatened or in danger, they may call the emergency numbers without hesitation.
9. A Teenager Made to Understand Keeping You Updated His/Her Whereabouts
A teenager may be made to understand the importance of sharing details of their whereabouts by keeping you updated with the following:
- Take permission from you before going anywhere
- Let you know as to who is accompanying them.
- Mutually agree to a time when they need to be back home.
- Keep you informed with regard to any change in plans.
10. Always Guide About Safe Places
Point out and show your child safe places such as using the main roads and avoiding deserted or small lanes, run into shops if they sense trouble or feel they are being followed.
So, parents should know "Where Is Your Child?". Helping our children understand that the importance of above safety rules and knowing how to act if they feel threatened instead of worrying or feeling scared, will help protect them. As a family, we need to practice personal safety skills to help increase their confidence and competence.
| Mar 28, 2017
Very Informative and good information on child safety. But one more way of making them remember mobile numbers of mummy and daddy is by actually letting them dial the number and talk with them. This way they will remember the number fast and easy. Same goes for address to
| Sep 09, 2017
thanks Anurima for sharing such handy tips keeping in mind present day scenario where kids are not safe even in their second home or home away from home as many people would call it I. e. their school. such repeated incidences in the recent past have made us parents reconsider our decision of putting our children in prestigious schools. its time we need to ask these schools certain serious questions regarding the safety procedures in schools, emergency management , contingency plan and many other questions of that ilk . the failure to have these systems in place can pose a serious threat to our kids safety and security. thanks again for bringing this up..