There is often a fine line between teaching your kids important safety and security lessons but doing so without unduly scaring or frightening them too much at the same time.
It is vital that all kids who are at an age of good comprehension have a basic understanding about who or what presents a potential danger to them, even when they are in their home environment.
Here are three cornerstones of home safety to teach your kids.
As adults, we know that not every person we encounter is friendly or trustworthy and we can exercise our judgement accordingly, but kids need to be taught how to handle encounters with strangers and how to recognize warning signs.
Your child needs to understand what a stranger is, explaining to them that a stranger is basically anyone that their family does not know very well or at all. The vast majority of people your kids will encounter will of course be friendly towards them and mean them no harm, but they also have to understand that if someone comes to the door, they should not be allowed in without Mom or Dad’s permission.
You can explain to them about figures of authority who should be considered trustworthy such as Police officers and Firefighters but teach them to have the confidence to deal with a potentially dangerous encounter by giving them a set of rules to work with, such as not answering the door if they are not sure who is calling and if their parents are not around at the time.
If you have a home alarm system fitted by a company, like the ones you can find on Home Security Providers, and if it is a monitored system, you can show them how to use the panic alarm if they think that they are in danger or they need to get help and you are not within shouting distance.
Basic home safety lessons
The level of safety advice that you pass on to your kids will of course vary and be constantly updated according to their age. Make sure that the youngest kids in the house have a good understanding of why it is important to keep away from the medicine cabinet and why the stove is so dangerous when there is food being cooked.
As a parent, you can also look to make their home environment as safe and secure as possible by making sure that windows have locks on them and that any pool or water feature in the garden is securely fenced off and can only be accessed when you are around.
Teaching a safety drill
Most work environments have a safety drill and evacuation plan that staff have to be familiar with and this is often practiced regularly so that in the event of a real emergency everyone will know what to do. You should adopt the same principle in the home and teach your kids an emergency drill so they know where to go and what to do in the event of an emergency.
You can often turn this into a fun game for the younger kids and having a plan helps to reduce the level of panic in a real emergency situation and increases your chances of getting out of danger safely.
Kids always want to feel safe and secure in their own home and if you teach them how to stay safe and still have fun, then it will make for greater peace of mind for you as a parent too.
Edward Barrington is a home safety expert. He loves writing about how to keep houses safer from threats on family blogs.
(Photo credits: safetymoment.net)