Parenting can be so much fun, but with parenting comes the scary things like worrying about keeping kids safe. Unfortunately it’s a worry we have to deal with the rest of our lives.
Teaching kids about safety is extremely important and it’s important to make it a way so it’s not scary for them and they understand why. These tips will help you know how to approach the topic and explain exactly what they need to know.
It is never too soon to teach your children about safety, the more you talk about it the more they will remember what to do in certain situations. I hate having to talk about this and talking to my kids about scary situations, I wish I could just keep them in a bubble so I don’t need to worry about them getting hurt.
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Keeping Kids Safe: Know How To Call 9-1-1
Teaching your kid how and when is probably the first thing they should know when it comes to safety.
Make sure they know what an emergency is and whenever they are scared, lost, hurt or someone else is hurt, that is the only time to call 9-1-1.
Also, let them know that they can’t call them just to call or to mess around. They will be able to locate them and they could get into trouble- I would know. 🙂
When I was little I was playing with a payphone and I didn’t know you didn’t need money to call the police, they ended up coming to my sister and brother’s karate class and my mom was so embarrassed…oops.
Show them on different types of phones and devices how to dial because they might get confused if they have only know how to use one type of device.
Teach Them Their Name, Last Name Address, and Phone Numbers
You can make this into a fun learning activity so they remember it better. It’s important to teach them this so if they get lost or need to give a trusting adult that information they will know it and get the help that they need.
Must Know Safety Skill: No Adult Needs Help From A Child
Yes, parents and grandparents are an exception, or if your child is trying to make money by mowing lawns. But, in general, no adult needs help from a child. If they need help finding a dog or whatever it is they say to lurer your child, they should be asking another adult to help. Even if they know the person!
This is the perfect way for a predator to come into contact with your child and act like they are a nice person.
90% of the time a child gets sexually abused, it is by a person they think they could trust and usually someone that they already know.
It is extremely scary to think about, and I wish no parent has to think about this stuff, but it’s reality and we need to do whatever we can to keep them safe. Let your kids know that if an adult other than you and grandparents is asking them to help them with something to say no.
I know you’re thinking, “Well, what if they really need help?” An adult shouldn’t be asking a kid to help them with something that another adult could help them with. Like, helping them look for something inside their house, go somewhere with them to help, or a stranger asking your child to help them find their lost puppy.
These are huge red flags, they are trying to trick your kids into doing something just so they have the chance to get them alone.
A New Kid’s Safety Tip: Know All Stranger Are Not Dangerous
This is a hard one to teach. Our whole lives we were taught stranger danger, and to never talk to people we don’t know. So, now why is it changing?
Well, because not all strangers are dangerous. And not all people that look “different” are scary or bad. This is in a way, profiling people and stereotyping people. We need to teach kids how to trust our instinct and know that even people we know may not be the people we thought we knew.
So, like I talked about above, people tricking your kids, this is called “Tricky People”, instead of stranger danger. This actually keeps kids safe, and saved two boys’ lives!
How do we can teach our kids without confusing them? So with strangers like teachers, police officers, or someone just telling your child that they like their shirt, these people are strangers but not necessarily bad people.
With strangers, if they are starting to feel uncomfortable around the person or noticing red flags like the person is asking a lot of questions about them, then they need to walk away and find someone that can help them. Go to the nearest house and act like it’s their house and tell the neighbor, or look for an adult with a kid near by or someone they know and completely trust.
Keeping Kids Safe: Never Be Too Scared To Tell Your Parents When Something Bad Happened
I’m sure you have notice in today’s world, that if something happens to a child or a women or man they are scared to tell someone because they are either embarrassed, or think no one will believe them.
Teach them and reassure them that they can come to you about ANYTHING!
Tell them that no matter what happened to them you are there to help them and protect them. That they are not in trouble and it isn’t their fault whatever it is that happened to them. Have an age appropriate conversation with your child to help them open up.
Right now they need a safe place and you are their safe place.
If you feel your child needs immediate attention and feel like they are in danger or were harmed in any way, never hesitated to get help right away. Child Help National Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 4-A-CHILD or (800) 422-4453.
Parent Tip: Questions and Reactions Parents Should Have
As a parent it is important to not react, get upset, or start yelling because they might think they are important or made the situation worse. Listen to your child, talk to them calmly about what has happened.
Ask open-ended questions to help them start talking and remember to be patient, so much is going on in their head at this moment so it may be hard to talk about.
Then when they are out of the room then you can discuss it and figure out what to do. The most important thing to do is make sure your child is okay, and feels like they did they right thing talking to you about the situation.
Keeping Kids Safe: What To Do In A House Fire
Knowing basic survival is very important. Hopefully they will never be in a building or house where their are no parents but if they are, or maybe they can’t get to you in the house, they need to know what to do.
Do a family fire drill. Show your kids where the exits are and if the main exit is not accessible than show them the alternative. If they are younger kids and can’t use the alternative tell them what to do while waiting to get rescued.
Have them stay low to the ground where it’s not as smokey, and before opening the door, they need to touch it to make sure it’s not hot. If it is hot, that means the fires is close or right outside their door.
If the door is cool but there’s a lot of smoke, close the door and and find another escape, never enter a smokey hallway.
When they get out of the house safely without needing to be rescued make a designated meeting place so everyone knows that everyone got out okay.
Keeping Kids Safe: What Happens If Someone Approaches Them
This is scary as a parent, especially with the younger kids, they are so trusting. They see an adult and are like oh hi, sure I’ll follow you.
I was at the zoo with my two boys one summer, and my middle child is the most trusting person ever. He was two at the time but is still the same way, he’s now almost 4.
Anyways, we were looking at animals and I looked over and he was looking around. I sat and watched to see what he would do because there were adults around and they were starting to walk away. He too started walking with them because they were adults and he thought he was supposed to.
I’m glad I was watching and observing; first, because I would have lost him if I wasn’t watching him, and second, I was able to teach him that he can’t follow people and needs to stick by me at all times.
But, the scariest part is I was with my friend and while I was paying attention to my middle son, she told me that there was a lady going to kids saying to them, “Here, lets go find your parents…” Luckly each of those kids’ parents were standing right there and was like, um I’m his/her mom, thank you.
Yeah, not sure why we didn’t but we should have told security. I think we were just so shocked and confused. Makes me think if I wasn’t watching him, what if she tried talking to my son.
I’m not saying this to scare you, but to bring awareness on how trusting kids can be.
So, if someone comes up to your child and asking them questions or telling them to come with them, they should know to not listen to them and find you or the adult they are with.
One other story that I read, was about these two boys wait outside a hospital for their mom. Two guys approached them trying to get them to follow them. But what their mom has taught them saved their life. You can read the full story here.
Keeping Your Kid Safe When They Feel Scared Around Someone
Kid’s intuition is simply amazing, they are kind of like dogs in a sense, they seem to have the ability to sense something bad about a person. Often, when this happens parents tend to ignore how they are feeling and think they are just being kids, being shy or in their stranger danger mode.
Having a secret word for your family a word that only you guys know, not even family friends can know the word, can be a huge life saver.
How it works is you create a phrase or word that is easy to remember, but not obvious. Something like, “How about that,” or “love ya bunches.” Something that isn’t obvious but also something they don’t usually say.
So if there is a person that is around that maybe you are talking to and your child doesn’t feel comfortable around them they can say that word or phrase, to catch your attention.
Or if your child is at a party or a friends house and they call you but can’t say they feel uncomfortable they can say that word and you know that you need to go pick them up right away.
There may be one case that you might give it to a trusted family friend (someone you 150% trust). This occasion is if you or your spouse can’t pick your child up from school or an event and your child knows that it’s okay to get in the car with them. Have your child ask the secret word and if they don’t say it right they know that they are lying.
Keep Your Kids Safe In Uncomfortable Situations
There will be times where your child are put into uncomfortable situations either by peer pressure or just wrong place at the wrong time.
If this happens let them know what to do. Tell them to make an excuse to leave or dial your number and use the secret word we just talked about.
If they are at a friends house and they come across a gun teach them what to do to avoid a devastating accident from happening.
Or if they are at a friends house and they can’t get away but they have their phone in their pocket show them how to use the emergency button on their phone that quickly call the police.
There are watches that can show you on your phone the location of your child and they can call you from their watch and you can hear what is going on and locate them. It’s a pretty smart invention and can keep your child safe and you don’t have to worry.
However, please respect your child’s privacy, I know since you will have this device you will want to know where they are at all times. But, if do invade their privacy then it will be hard to have a strong trusting bond with one another.
How To Keep Kids Safe If They Get Lost
Does your child know what to do if they get lost? With little kids it is so easy for them to get lost in large crowds or sneak out and not realize how far they wandered from their house-trust me it can happen.
So, if they are in that situation they should know what to do if they can’t find you. http://www.missingkids.com/
- Make sure they know their full name, phone number, and their address– Practice with the free printables we created for you.
- Have them practice dialing your number– Have them practice over and over dialing your number and maybe two other numbers like a grandparent or your spouse.
- Teach them how to safely ask an adult for help– Have them spot another adult with a child, a store clerk with a name tag, or a security guard.
- Don’t go looking for you if they get lost– If they try to look for you they might wander further and further away from you.
These resources are great for kids safety. They help parents by teaching you how to teach your kids to be safe, and make it fun too.
National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, and they also have a very informal website called Kidz Smart
The Best Way To Keep Your Child Safe: Learn To Listen To Their Gut
This skill is one of the most important thing to learn yourself and teach your kids. It is so easy to ignore your instinct and just do the opposite of what your body is telling you.
Being a parent this can save and help you as well. Our body’s instinct is an amazing thing that we put on the back burner. There is an amazing book The Gift Of Fear, we HIGHLY recommend for women, moms, girls to read.
But, for your kids you can teach them what you learned. If they are in a situation, or by someone and they get a bad feeling in the pit of their stomach than that is a huge red flag. That is their body telling them to get out and find someone or somewhere safe.
If you are around, this is a great time to use the safe word you guys have came up with if you or your kids get a bad feeling about something. Never ingore those feelings.
Kids Safety Items
GPS Watch For Kids– This water proof watch has a GPS tracking so you know that you child is safe at all times. It has an SOS Emergency function, so if your child is in distress they can push the button for 3 seconds and it will notify you.
Wrist Leash– When I first saw a child on a “leash” I was appalled. I would think how can parents treat their child like a dog?! Now, being parent of wanderers I completely get it. Hearing stories of people just grabbing kids or kids getting lost in crowds I 100% get it now, they are not treating them like dogs.
Super Duper Safety School Book– This is a children’s book for kids and grown-ups about safety rules. Teaching your child about personal safety without creating fear.
This Is My Body– A great children’s book teaching kids in a non-fearful way of personal safety, body parts, and “thumbs-up, thumbs-down” touching.
The Gift Of Fear– This is a must read for everyone especially women, moms, and teenage girls. There are real stories of situations that women have encountered. It talks about learning to listen and trust your instict to keep you safe. If you get a bad odd feeling, then listen to that feeling. A must read!
Amber Alert GPS– This is a great device that you can put on your child’s backpack, coat pocket anywhere they can carry it. You can track them using your phone. Keep communication with two-way calling. Set up the device so it will alert you when they are entering or leaving school or any location you have programmed, SOS alert in case of emergency or if they aren’t feeling well, via voice call, txt or email.
American Family Safety– This is for the whole family. They provided safety kits for natural disasters, hurricane, floods, blackouts, and earthquakes, and more adverse situations. They put together preparedness kits so families are prepared and safe if an emergency arises, and they are made catering to the family’s needs. All supplies are recommended by Coast Guard and FEMA. Every family should own their own kit.
Key chain Security Alarm- Every women, girl, teen, kid should have one. It’s a key chain alarm that has a LED light. But also if you pull out the pin and it sounds a loud alarm getting people’s attention and scaring the predator away. Insert the pin back in and it stops the alarm right away, reuse over and over.
I hope this is helpful to you, and encourages you to make sure your child knows everything they need to know about being safe. What are some safety tips you teach your kids? Do you have a creative way in teaching them?