Nobody wants to think of a child in danger, yet so many children are at risk of abuse, abduction and accidents. Every 40 seconds in the U.S., a child goes missing or is abducted, and one in five child deaths are attributed to unintentional injury (e.g. motor vehicle, drowning, fire, poison).
With this in mind, it’s hard not to worry as a parent. Use this as a guide for how to speak with your child about these dangers to keep them aware, alert and safe.
Teach Kids Stranger Safety
Beginning at a young age, sit down with your child regularly for stranger safety talks. This topic can be intimidating to children so present it in a calm and soothing manner. Touch upon the following:
- Ensure your child knows his or her full name, address and phone number.
- Empower your child to say “no.” Many children won’t speak up in a bad situation because they assume all adults have authority.
- Define a stranger: An adult you do not know.
- Teach your child that some strangers can be trusted (policemen, firemen, store clerks, etc.). This way, if they get lost or separated from you, they’ll know who to approach for help.
- Never approach a stranger’s car, even if they’re simply asking for directions.
- Teach your children the “Run. Yell. Tell.” rule.
- Communicate the importance of always being with a trusted adult or employing the buddy rule.
Instilling these values from a young age will help ingrain safety into your child’s daily routine as they grow.
Keep Kids Safe From Avoidable Accidents
Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of mortality among children in the U.S. These injuries are predictable, preventable and controllable. They include, but aren’t limited to, traffic accidents, drowning, suffocation, fires/burns and falls.
Sidestep accidents by keeping the following safety tips top of mind:
- Ensure your child is properly restrained in either a car seat or safety belt when riding in a vehicle.
- Teach children the importance of looking both ways when crossing the street.
- Lock all cabinets that contain medicine, cleaning supplies and other poisonous materials. Consider placing a security sensor on the cabinets so you are immediately notified if opened by an unauthorized party.
- Install smoke detectors throughout your house, and teach your children a family escape plan.
- Properly store all guns in the home so curious children cannot access them.
- Prevent drowning by installing locked gates around pools. You can also add sensors or other monitoring devices to your gates to monitor activity.
Security Technologies With Children In Mind
Sometimes you can’t help but leave older children home alone for a little while. Reasons span from conflicting schedules and demanding days to unpredictable obstacles that may arise throughout the week. For moments like these, keep available security technologies in mind to increase your child’s safety and decrease your worry.
Technologies, like home video surveillance, allow you to keep an eye on your home and your children while you’re away.