Every single parent out there wants to make sure their child is always safe. But the thing is, sometimes the child might find themselves in a situation that can risk their safety, and it is a parent's job to ensure the child knows what to do in that case. From little things such as playing on a playground, to potentially getting lost or getting approached by a stranger, preparing a child for the bad things they might face in this world is crucial in making sure they stay safe.
Being a parent is hard enough, and frankly there is no rulebook on how to keep your child safe but also let them live their life and have freedom. But in order to help a bit, we've assembled a list of things parents may not think of teaching or telling their kids. Some of these are super plain and easy, and others are a bit more difficult to teach. But at the end of the day, every kid should know all of these, for their own safety and their parents' peace of mind.
Here they are, 20 safety procedures parent's might not think of teaching their children, but they definitely should!
20 Create A Meeting Spot In Your Go-To Supermarket
Everyone panics when they can't find their parent in a supermarket. Seriously, you can be in your twenties and your heart will still skip a beat if you lose a parent in a supermarket. It literally takes a second for both to be distracted by a shiny new product to lose each other. A good tip for not panicking is to have a designated meeting spot, if it's your go -to supermarket. Even if it isn't, you can always make a certain isle the meeting spot, like the cheese isle. That way once you both realize you're not together anymore, you can just go there and wait for each other.
19 Don't Run Up To Dogs In Parks
Another quite obvious safety tip is to make sure your children know to not run up to stranger's dogs. This can be quite hard on the child, if they are a dog lover, but it's for their own safety, as one can never know how a dog will react, and some dog's reactions might be a bit more aggressive.
Teach your child to always come up to the owner first and ask if they can pet or play with the dog. That way they are always on the safe side, and they still usually get to pet the dog, since most owners don't decline.
18 Make A List Of Information They Shouldn't Share Online
It's hard to keep your kids from using the internet or having social media. While parents shouldn't necessarily prohibit their kids from being a part of today's modern world, they should definitely make sure to tell their kids what kind of information they mustn't share online. On top of that list should definitely be their address and phone number. But other things should be considered as well, like what kind of photos they are allowed to post on social media platforms, or what their language on there should be. Online taunting is unfortunately a big part of the internet, and one should try their best to protect children from it.
17 Look For A Police Officer, Shop Clerk Or Mom With Kids If Lost
Kids need to know what to do in case they are lost, and parents should never assume the child will know how to react in that situation. Preparing them for getting lost is an essential safety procedure.
And the main thing they should know if they get lost, whether it's in a supermarket, shopping mall or a street, is whom they should reach out to.
If they see a police officer, that should be their first go-to, but if there's no police around, they should look for a shop clerk or a mother with kids. And this is where knowing the parents phone number comes in handy.
16 Teach Scenarios Of When To Call 9-1-1
While calling 911 can be stressful for a grown up, it is way more stressful for a child. Frankly, depending on how old the child is, they might not even know when they should call 911. So it is a parent's job to teach them this, give them specific scenarios of when to call 911, and when there's no need to do so. So for example, if they are home alone and somebody is rapidly knocking on their door, they should call the police. But if they are home alone, and someone rang the door, and eventually left they should not. Making sure the kids understand the difference between danger and safety is crucial.
15 Role-Play At Least Once A Year
Having some safety scenario related role play every now and then can be very useful. Teaching your kids little things like how self defense is nothing like in the movies, and that fighting back is is fair game, to how they should keep their hair down if they feel they're being followed so that their neck isn't easily open. There's plenty of scenarios that can be discussed and even played out (obviously without causing harm to anyone), and chances are the kid will even enjoy playing this game. And it leaves the parent a bit more relaxed knowing their child would know what to do.
14 Stay Away From The Front And Back Of The Swing Area
Lot's of parents don't think about teaching their children playground safety, and that is such a mistake. Playgrounds are a very common place for kids to get hurt, so it's good to sit down with them and point out all the potential risky areas. And a common one is getting hit by someone on a swing. So telling your children to make sure they never stand in front or behind a swing when some other kid is using it can save parents from a lot of stress. And while the child might already know this on their own, it never hurts to be extra precautious.
13 Ask For A Code Word If Someone Else Is Picking Them Up
One thing a lot of parents worry about is that somebody will trick their child and claim they came to pick them up from school. As alarming as this sounds, this can happen, it can happen with strangers and it can happen with family friends. So making sure theres a code word can be super useful. The child can ask the person for the code word, and if this was agreed upon with their parents, that person should definitely know the code word. This is super easy, and it assures both, the child and the parents that everything is fine.
12 Know Their Parent's Phone Number And Address By Heart
In today's world kids get cellphones at a very young age. Sure, they have their parents cellphone numbers saved in there, and probably even their home address, and that is all good, but there are some things it wouldn't hurt to make your kid learn by heart; and their home address and parents' phone numbers are on top of the list. Because as useful as technology is for memorizing things so that we don't have to, some things it's good to know.
This way the child still knows what number to call if their phone battery runs out or gets stolen.
11 Teach Them That They Are The Boss Of Their Own Bod
Okay, this one is a bit tricky, and a lot of parents might not feel comfortable talking to their children about this potential scenario, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to do so. A young child might not understand the difference between someone touching their arm and touching them other places. Letting a child know what is okay and what isn't in terms of bodily contact is important, and it ensures that the child will report to their parents any cases of when that line is crossed by someone.
10 No Adult Should Ask Them To Keep Secrets
In line with the previous tip, it is also super useful to make sure your child knows that no one should ask them to keep secrets from their parents. Now don't worry, once they grow a bit older, they will realize that they can still have secrets with their friends and be normal teenagers, but it will also make them realize that if a family friend or an acquaintance they don't know too well asks them to keep something from their parents, that is a huge red flag. And knowing that, the child will definitely know to tell their parents.
9 Teach Them To Dress Appropriately For The Playground
Another useful playground safety rule is to make sure your kids know what to wear. Generally, tight fitting clothes are better than loose ones, as those can get stuck easily. Comfortable, safe shoes are a must, and in general, a more sporty outfit is the safest.
This of course also depends on how active the kid is and what the playground looks like, but if the child is old enough that they go to the playground by themselves, they are generally old enough to dress themselves for it, and they should know what is playground-safe clothing.
This is such an easy safety measure parents tend to not think of.
8 Teach Them The Family Escape Plan
Okay, this is another one of those stressful things, but as hard as it is for parent's to even think of such a scenario, it is a good thing to be prepared for, just in case. Especially if you live in a house.
Teaching your children where to escape is important, and at the end of the day, it will leave you more at ease knowing they know what to do, just in case.
So make sure you sit down with them and teach them what the escape plans are in different scenarios, so if it comes to that, that they don't stress but instead know where to go.
7 Don't Talk To Strangers Online
Another online safety rule for kids, especially younger ones, should be to teach them to not talk to strangers. If a stranger reaches out via comment or direct message, the child should ignore them, and tell their parents. Together, depending on the comment or message, the two can decide whether this person needs to be blocked. Children can easily be tempted to respond to strangers online as it isn't nearly as worrisome as it is in person. So making sure your child is aware that there is a person behind those messages, and that just because the interaction is happening online and not in real life, doesn't mean that the interaction safe.
6 Ask For Help If Toys Roll Into The Street
If the kids play in the front yard, it can easily happen that a toy (especially a ball) will roll onto the driveway or street. They should know to ask for an adult's help in that case, and never to run out to get it themselves. No matter how cautious the child can be, there's always reckless drivers, and parents should never feel too lazy to get their kid's toy.
Of course, having them play in the backyard or a fenced area is always better, but sometimes that's not an option, which is why you should make sure the child doesn't go onto the street.
5 Take No Shortcuts, Even If Friends Insist
Once the kid is old enough to go home alone, parents need to stress out the importance of not taking any short cuts. Even if the kid is with friends who claim they know their way, the child should always decline and go the route their parents approved. Kids often don't realize how easy it is to get lost, even in a familiar neighborhood, which is why parents need to make sure shortcuts never cross their child's mind. Safety is priority number one, and if that means a friend of theirs might get mad, then that's something they'll have to deal with.
4 Stop, Drop And Roll
Okay, this is another scenario parents don't like discussing, but its always better to be safe than sorry. Teaching your kid the stop, drop and role rule is so easy, and well, if they are ever at risk, they will know exactly what to do. The older the child gets, the less time they actually spend with their parents, so teaching them as much about safety as possible, even if it's hard to bring some scenarios up, is a parent's job, and they need to do it. Besides, "stop, drop and roll" is such an easy phrase that kids will most definitely always remember it!
3 Teach Them The Importance Of Sun Protection
When parents think of their child safety, they often forget how nature can sometime harm them. But thankfully, there's safety procedures that can be applied in those cases as well. In this particular case, they can be applied in layers and layers. Whether the kid is using sunscreen or clothing and hats to protect themselves from the sun, parents should try to make this a habit from an early age on. If parents aren't around to protect them from the sun, they should be aware of it and know how to do it on their own.
2 Have A Safety Word The Whole Family Knows
This is such an easy safety precaution to teach kids, and it can be very useful for the child if it feels unsafe or uncomfortable. You can simply agree to a word like "pineapple" - it should be a more unusual word, that doesn't come up in conversations very often - or even a whole phrase like "I feel like having pineapple for desert today". Either way, make sure the whole family knows it, and let them know when they should use it. So for example if the kid is at school or at a friends, and they don't feel safe, they can call their parents on the phone, use the safety word, and the parents know to come get them.
1 Trust Their Instinct
The last safety tip is probably the most simple one: trust your instincts. We all have that instinct that tells us when we are entering a risky situation and makes us feel uncomfortable; we should never ignore that. This tip is useful for people of any age, but it is important to stress it to children. If anything ever makes them feel afraid or uncomfortable, they shouldn't ignore that, and they should always react by getting out of that situation and/or telling their parents. A humans instinct can be the most useful safety measure, and we all need to make the most of it.