One of the most important jobs for a parent is keeping our kids safe . What are some ways to help us make this job easier? Here are some Tips for Keeping Kids Safe Physically and Emotionally.
As a parent our most important job is to keep our kids safe from harm. Unfortunately there are very few universally accepted forms of “harm.” This can make figuring out how to keep our kids safe quite difficult because “safe” means something different to everybody. For some this might mean taking a “helicopter parent” approach to parenting. For others it might mean letting kids figure out their own way most of the time and only stepping in when the circumstances are dire.
Protect Your Home
According to Black Hat Security, 34% of all home invaders enter right through the front door. Even if you make a habit of keeping that door locked, it’s a good idea to install some extra security measures to help keep yourself and your kids safe when they are at home. A security system with mobile monitoring is essential because it eliminates the need to “investigate” for yourself when you are afraid that someone who is not supposed to be in your home has found their way in. That investigation, we all know, is where most home invasions go from injury/personal-risk-free to life threatening.
Teach your children how to handle situations in which strange adults or even older kids approach them. There’s more to safety than “don’t take candy from strangers,” after all. Having a password, teaching your kids to identify “the helpers” (police, firefighters, “safe” adults), teaching some basic self-defense moves, etc., are all good ideas. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to someone at your local police station. They will have lots of great literature and may even have classes you and your kids can take together.
Most kids understand the concept of fire drills because they practice them in school. You should also have them at home. Make sure your kids know what to do if there is a fire in the home and how to keep themselves safe. Run drills from time to time to keep the procedures fresh in everybody’s minds.
Fire drills, however, aren’t enough. It is also important that your kids know what to do if there is a break-in. For example, unlike during a fire, staying put is often your kids’ best chances of staying safe. Have them figure out one or two hiding places in their own rooms where they can go to stay out of a burglar’s way. Teach them how to stay quiet and how to get help–make sure their phones (if they have them) have quality safety apps installed.
Whatever your family’s stance on the second amendment, teaching your kids to steer clear of guns is a good idea. Remember: not all families may be as vigilant about their gun safety as yours and it is important that your children know that guns are never toys and should never be touched without you present–unless you’ve given expressed permission otherwise (like allowing your kids to go hunting with another family). Asking about the family’s approach to gun safety before allowing playdates is also a good idea.
This is where everything gets a little tricky. It’s so easy for “bad guys” to pretend to be someone good and innocent online! And cyber bullying is a real problem. With the invention of web-enabled mobile devices, simply keeping the family computer in a heavily trafficked place isn’t a real option anymore. When your kids are still young you can install parental monitoring apps on their devices to make sure that they aren’t talking to people or visiting sites you don’t like. As they get older, though, you won’t have that level of control so it is important to make sure your kids know that they can and should talk to you if someone exhibits behavior that makes them uncomfortable. Sure, you might have some uncomfortable conversations, but it is when kids and teens feel like they need to hide things that problems arise.
Every parent wants to keep their child safe. These are just a few of the areas in which you should focus. What safety tip has proven the most useful in your home?