You may think your kids aren’t capable of much before the age of 5, but the truth is they can do a lot by then and these are things they should know and can do. It will not only help to keep them safe but could save you or a family member as well.
Your child should know their parents or caregivers first and last name. Work with them and quiz them on this to ensure they can pronounce it clearly. You can also start teaching them their address and at least one emergency phone number.
Find creative ways to get them to remember these things and you’ll be surprised how quickly they learn! Make up a song and they’ll love to learn just about anything you need them to.
Teaching them what an emergency is and showing them how to dial 911 is important. These days, many people do not have house phones, but they can dial 911 even from the locked screen on your cell phone. On iPhones, there is a button for ‘Emergency’ that will allow them to bypass your passcode.
When you show them this, be sure they know when they should call 911. Teach them the difference between emergencies and non-emergencies. For instance, mom is screaming because of a spider – is not an emergency. Mom is hurt or is not waking up is.
This is a simple rule that very young children can grasp. Let them know that any place on their body that a bathing suit covers should only be touched by a parent. Tell them doctors are OK as well, but only when mom or dad is present.
This gives them a visual and makes it easy for them to understand where it is ok for people to touch them and where it is not. You can also teach them the names of their body parts, but at very early ages they can understand the bathing suit rule.
This one applies to all sorts of situations and keeps them safe. Tell them no matter what, there are no secrets from you. Let them know that it doesn’t matter what the other person says if they tell them it is a secret and not to tell you – to tell you immediately no matter what.
Also, instill in them that any person asking them to keep a secret is breaking the rules! As a mom or dad, you should also NEVER break this rule. Never ask your child to keep a secret from the other (even if it’s supposed to be a surprise). This will only confuse small children and make them believe it is OK sometimes.
Also show them photos of police officers, firefighters, and emergency personnel so they know what their uniforms look like and that they are safe. It’s also important to point out neighbors that are safe to go to in an emergency.