It is very important that our kids know what to do when they encounter an emergency type of situation and that they have some skills for survival when home alone or outside. Parents need to discuss safety rules and survival skills for when situations like injuries occur, when strangers approach them, and if they get lost in an unfamiliar place. The more our kids are aware, the more they will be able to protect themselves when on their own.
Basic First Aid
All children should know basic first aid practices and have some knowledge about how to take care of minor scrapes and cuts. Make sure your child knows where the first aid kit is located within the house and teach them how to take care of any minor cuts if you are not there. (I.e. Clean the wound first, use Polysporin on scrapes and wrap it up with a Band-Aid until you are home.)
Let them know that deeper cuts and cuts that do not stop bleeding require more attention and that they should apply a bandage and put pressure on the wound and notify you immediately so you can take further action.
It’s important for kids to be friendly and polite when out and about, but it is also important for them to know when to stay away or step back from someone who is invading their space or making them feel uncomfortable. If an individual is pushing them to answer a lot of questions, tries to pull them away anywhere or does anything they do not like, teach them to scream FIRE and draw a lot of attention to where they are.
With all of the texting and cell phone gaming that goes on nowadays, kids are not alert all of the time. Teach your kids to stop what they are doing when walking, crossing streets and in places they are not familiar with. Kids need to be more aware of the people around them, the cars that speed by them on the street and the objects in their path that could possibly harm them. Walking and texting is never a smart thing to do.
What to Do If They Get Lost
Kids should always know what to do if they get lost. Whether they are in a new neighborhood or lost at the mall, teach them to find someone of authority in a professional setting. For example, if your child gets lost at the mall, teach them to talk to a store employee or go to the information desk for help. If they get lost outside somewhere, teach them to find a shop, public area and get to a phone to call for help.
If you child encounters a scary situation at home such as a fire or if they realize that someone is trying to break in, they need to know who to call and what to do. In the case of a fire, they need to know how to use the fire distinguisher (if they are old enough) or to run out of the house and ask the neighbor to call the fire department immediately.
If they are home alone and hear someone trying to get into the home, they need to know to call 9-1-1 and get out of the house or find a hiding place if they cannot escape. It is always a good idea to have all of these numbers beside the home phone or on the wall somewhere, so all of your kids can see them.