Child safety activities for you and your kids

Safety lessons are the most important ones you can teach your child. Here are a few activities to help you learn together.

Safety Activities for Kids

Lessons about safety are some of the most important ones you teach your child. They start from a very early age, when you tell your crawling baby to keep away from a hot stove or other danger. But what can you do to teach safety when kids are older? Here are a few fun learning activities you can use at home or in the classroom.

* Fire Safety - Stop, Drop, and Roll! This is what you must do if your hair or clothing catches on fire, and is always fun for kids to practice. When you are done dropping and rolling, you can discuss other aspects of fire safety such as prevention (i.e. do not play with matches, etc.).

* Escape Plan - In the event of fire or other emergency, it is important for every family to have a plan for how to escape from their home and where to meet up afterwards. You need to talk about this plan - what exits are there from the building? Which one should you take in what circumstances? How will you get there? You may wish to draw a map, or have each child draw one. You will also need to establish a safe place to meet up once you've made your escape - a street corner? A neighbor's house? You might want to have periodic safety drills. There is an episode of "Elmo's World" (from Sesame Street), available on video, that describes a family's escape plan from their apartment, and manages to make their safety drills seem fun and not scary.

* Stranger Danger - talk about strangers, and discuss with your children what to do in event they become lost (if you cannot find a policeman or store manager, look for a woman with children of her own as she may be more inclined to help) and what they must do if a stranger approaches them on the street (never tell them your name or other personal information; never, ever get in a car or go for a walk with them). Have fun making up a special code word, and tell them that if you ever send anyone to pick them up or with a message from you that this person will always know the code word. Promise them, though, that if at all possible you will always send a relative or someone else they know and trust.

* Car Seat Safety - talk about how important it is to be safe in your car, and how this means you need to buckle up in your safety seat or seatbelt. Have them practice buckling a teddy bear into their car seat, and tell them to be sure to remind you to wear your own seatbelt every time you go for a drive. This way they will start to feel a sense of pride and responsibility in their own safety - and in yours as well!

* Telephone Drills - you can start these with preschoolers, using a toy phone. Make sure they know how to dial your home phone number, your cell phone number if you have one, your work number, and 911. Be sure to talk about when to dial 91 - and when not to! But tell them they are always welcome to call you anytime they get scared or anxious. If you keep the lines of communication open when they are small, they might be willing to keep them open when they are big.

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