Put away the bubble wrap! 6 (practical) things we can all do to keep children safer!

Safeguarding our little ones is any parent’s top priority. 

Safeguarding our little ones is any parent’s top priority.  It’s in our nature, it’s our instinct and it starts from the moment we know they are there.  
Since starting AgriKids, I have come face to face with many parent’s worst fears.  People send me articles and links, all in the name of research and if I was to dwell on them all, my son would never leave the house again. 
Therefore I have collated my top 6 practical safety tips that will help keep children that little bit safer so our minds can rest that little bit easier.  
Write down your phone number.
At this year’s Ploughing Championships I noticed many children with a parent’s phone number written on their arms.  With over 280,000 attendees covering a 700 acre area, to lose a child would be a parent’s worst nightmare.  Using a marker write your name and number and seal it with a spray on plaster, (available in most supermarkets and pharmacies), which will also make it waterproof. 
Car parks 
This is especially useful if you have more than one little person.  Designate a ‘safe spot’ on your car where each child must place their hand while you unload younger children.  You could even allocate a sticker for each child, making it their own safety spot! 
Inflatable paddling pools 
Ok, so many of us got little to no use out of our inflatable paddling pools this summer.  However they make great play areas for babies and toddlers – fully padded and easy to wipe – all year round! (I hasten to add that extreme safety and caution must always be exercised with water and paddling pools!)
Stranger Danger!
We spend most of our time telling children not to yell, but sometimes it is ok to shout and it’s important we tell our children when this is and why. Such as when someone is acting scary or threatening towards them.  Together practice shouting at the top of your voice, use words and phrases like, ‘NO’, ‘Go Away’ and ‘Help Me’.
Curtains and blind cords
No child safety list would be complete without mentioning curtain and blind cords.  The National Consumer Agency has a number of helpful tips for parents:
Move beds, cots and furniture away from windows. 
Keep cords and chains out of reach of children - cords should end at least 1.6 metres above the ground. 
Make your existing blinds or curtains safe - try to get rid of cords ending in a loop or use safety devices such as a chain tidy or a chain break connector – many of these devices come with blinds but make sure you check with your supplier. 
If they get lost
One of my most vivid memories from when I was a child was getting separated from my parents while leaving the circus.  It was dark and there were people everywhere, I was suitably terrified, I still remember my mother’s ashen face when we were eventually reunited.  Encourage your child to go through the following steps should they ever be separated from you:
Statue: tell them to stand still as you will be looking for them and that it will be easier to find them if they stay in the one spot.
Stop: Tell them who they can approach to ask for help, like a policeman or store security personnel.  If none of these can be found, tell them to stop another mother, who will be easy to identify with buggies and small children of their own. 
Say: Make sure they know what to say if they are lost.  Do they know their name, your full name, your phone number (see the first tip!!) and also to use the phrase: ‘I am lost’ ‘can you help me find my mummy and daddy’. 
Alma Jordan is the founder of AgriKids. Check out her website here at www.agrikids.ie or like her on facebook and follow her twitter @agrikid

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