Whilst we can't wrap them up in cotton wool, there are some precautions we must take with our children
- Internet safety- Grooming is becoming more common and if your child has access to the internet or a mobile device they need to be aware that grooming exists. It may not be the nicest of subjects but if your child is aware they are less likely to be affected by grooming. Children should also have boundaries when spending time online and they should know not to cyber bully, send offending messages or to post pictures of a personal nature online. They should be supervised while using devices and communicate with you if they notice anything sinister on the internet or if they think that their friends are in trouble.
- Stranger danger- A child once they hit play-school must know that they shouldn’t talk to strangers let alone walk off with one no matter who they say are or what they have with them. Children are more likely to go with a stranger if the person has a puppy or promises sweets etc. to go with them. Honesty is vital and though you don’t want to unduly scare your child they must be aware of the dangers of strangers and the importance of staying close to their home, school or parent/caregiver.
- Pedestrian safety- Kids are unable to understand the importance of crossing a road safely but through your teachings they can learn (in time) how to be aware of the cars on the road.
- Trusting their gut instinct- In most cases (like adults) children will have a natural and trustworthy gut instinct that will steer them in the right direction. The saying goes “If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t right” and this should be reiterated to your child regularly for their younger and older years.
- Fire prevention- Fire is dangerous and children should be aware of it when the winter is in and there are fires lighting in houses. They need to know about matches and lighters and how they are for adult use only. Kids should be aware of a family emergency plan if there is a fire at home and show your kids where the fire alarms are and what they do.
- Water safety- Children need to have basic swimming skills and it is advised that as your kids get older that you encourage them to take part in life-saving skills. The water is a dangerous place without the proper advice, practice or supervision and kids will want to play in the water but ensuring they have the “know how” is key to their safety.
- Substances awareness- This may be for older kids but education should start from a young age on the dangers of using substances that could potentially damage their health.
Written by Emma Hayes, Staff writer at Family Friendly HQ