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Never Too Young: Home Safety Lessons for Kids
Home is the place where kids should feel the safest, but the numbers show that it is not always the safest place. Did you know that on average, about 10,000 children are seen daily in emergency departments for injuries they get at home? Kids can play an important role in keeping their homes safe and secure, and encouraging their families to do the same. Here then are some tips on teaching basic home safety and security measures to children.
Invite an expert
Poisoning is currently the leading cause of death in the United States. People get poisoned by using certain prescription painkillers wrongly. They may become addicted and either take too much or take the painkillers for too long. To teach kids about the importance of using prescription drugs correctly you can:
- Invite a pharmacist to give a talk to the class on safe drug use.
- Invite a guest speaker who struggled with and overcame an addiction to prescription drugs.
Show and Tell Fire Safety
Every day, 7 people die and 36 people are injured in a home fire in the United States. Every home should have fire precautions in place. A great way to teach home fire safety to kids is by teaching school fire safety. The kids can then replicate what they have learned at home as homework.
- If there is a smoke alarm in the classroom, practically teach the kids how to check the battery and how it sounds when it goes off. Assign different pairs of kids the responsibility for checking the batteries each month, and recording their findings on a printed schedule sheet.
- Do a fire drill with your class, then ask them to write a report on their family’s plan for how to escape if there is a fire at home.
In an emergency, we need to move quickly. Everyone should have access to emergency contacts and the means to call for help quickly in an emergency.
- Brainstorm with your class which emergency phone numbers everyone should have and assign them to find out the ones they don’t know.
- Get each child to design a list of emergency phone numbers to put up in their homes. Discuss the most appropriate location for the list and why.
- If any of the kids’ relatives have medical alert systems explain how it works in a medical emergency so they know what to do if they ever need to help operate it.
Security is an important part of home safety that cannot be taken for granted. Practically teach kids some of the simple steps they can take to enhance security at home.
- Assign kids in pairs the duty of checking that the classroom windows are properly locked at the end of the day and locking the classroom door.
- For their homework assignment, ask them to make a similar schedule for their homes and assign window and door duties to their family members.
As you teach these lessons you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping the kids make their home a safer place and maybe even saving their lives.