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Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Personal Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids - Guest Post

Our neighborhood is beginning to echo with kids’ voices as they play outside with friends. Since we can’t be with our kids every second of each day, it’s important to talk with them about how to stay safe during afternoons full of summer fun.

Safety First
I like to tell my kids that “Safety First” is a general rule, and then discuss specific examples. Our discussions include

• Using helmets when riding bikes or scooters
• Putting on sunscreen throughout the day, especially when playing in water
• Staying away from bodies of water (rivers, lakes, pools) unless an adult is present
• If you’re going to do something you think might be unsafe, stop and ask a trusted adult
I end this discussion with who can be identified as a “trusted adult” in our community. Their choices range from our family friends, neighbors and community members like police or firemen. And, of course, my husband and I always include ourselves in this list!
Travel Together

It's essential for your kids to spend time with friends and trusted adults during these warm summer weeks. I like to teach my kids that there truly is safety in numbers. It’s better to walk and play with others than alone.
This concept, however, needs to be paired with a critical question - What kinds of places should your kids and their friends avoid? Some of the answers could include bodies of water, being at home alone, busy streets, and high-traffic areas. I emphasize that my kids need to identify safe places to play and then let people know where they are and when they’ll be back.

A Helpful Acronym
To help bring this concept home, my kids practice a helpful acronym, C-A-T.
• C stands for CHECK, and the examples I give are to CHECK with an adult before going somewhere or doing something
• A is for ASK, like ASK before starting an activity or project. Also, ASK a trusted adult if you think something might be unsafe.
• T stands for TELL, as in TELL someone before you leave for home so we know when to expect you.
This acronym is a great way to keep track of your kids and what they’re doing during their summer adventures.

Help Them Remember
It’s a good idea to reinforce these concepts with your kids by doing one or two projects together. Have your kids make small posters about these safety tips and post them around your house so they can see them. This will ensure that your kids are consistently reminded about keeping themselves safe over the summer months.

Another fun way to review these concepts is to make your own sun hat. Draw pictures of the acronym and safety tips on the hat, then your kids can wear it to practice sun safety at the same time!

Kelly Wilson writes for Teaching Resource Center, who for 25 years has been supplying parents and kids with craft materials and educational supplies.


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