The world has changed, though not necessarily for the better. Where danger used to be obvious to the eye and the world was aware of it, the danger is now hidden away. More than ever it has become imperative that we work on protecting our children in every possible way we can.
In our article below, we list seven crucial tips for keeping your child safe in the modern world. From advice you should give to them, to devices you should make them carry, we list everything you need to keep your children safe.
Early Years Safety
Luckily, in many Western schools, this is now becoming a standard discussion and lesson taught in class. Discussing healthy and unhealthy relationships is vital, as sadly many people reach adulthood never fully realizing what these actually are. You must discuss this with your children honestly, without diluting the language or explanations.
Healthy relationships involve talking about how to have an argument, how to disagree, about acceptable physical contact and language. Let them know it is ok to ask and talk about relationships they are not sure about. This will create a climate of openness with your child.
Scale the level of conversation to suit the needs of the child. Discussing how to share toys will be a different conversation to when your little girl brings home her first boyfriend. Hopefully, by this point, the dialogue will already be open and your child will feel confident enough to speak.
Make a Plan for Getting Lost
Losing sight of a child in a store or outdoors is a scary moment, both for you and them. However, in these situations, you can negate much of the fear by planning ahead. Luckily, this does not have to be a large operation.
One child safety strategy many people choose to employ is to point out a designated meeting place. However, this is not always the best tactic. When lost and frightened in a new environment, the meeting place may be harder to find than a parent.
Instead, tell your child to stay exactly where they are when they realize they are lost. Tell them to call out your full name (both parts) so you can easily identify their voice if in a crowd. It will make it much easier for you to return to the last spot you saw them, which will undoubtedly be quite close.
Keep Your Children Safe with Road Safety
Road safety was taught in many schools at one point, though it seems to have slid from the curriculum as of late. That is not good, as roads are becoming busier, more dangerous and drivers are becoming more aggressive.
Though it may seem old fashioned, you need to drill the importance of the basics into your child. Look both ways when crossing the road, hold hands with an adult when crossing, only cross on green lights, etc. With cars becoming quieter than ever, this is even more important as traffic becomes faster but without the audible warning of an engine.
Do not forget to teach them about other dangers in the street. Bicycle lanes can be just as silent and deadly. Make sure they avoid properties with dangerous dogs in the garden and know the dangers of being locked inside hot cars.
Teach your Child to Swim
It is a simple notion but if your child can swim, they are at a much lower risk of drowning. Even if they are not raised near the ocean, at some point they will visit a pool or lake and will need this life-saving skill. Not for recreation or a quick afternoon dip, but to survive.
Even if they can swim, you still need to teach the dangers of water to your children. When in the sea, explain undercurrents and tides. If you have a pool at home, make sure it is fenced off and gated to prevent toddlers from falling in.
Teen Years Safety
In the teen years, your child will want to begin exploring without you. This is going to mean using public transport.
Start by going with them to local bus routes and subway stops. Show them how to use a ticket and how to use the maps of the system. When they feel confident, let them try it out with a friend.
Soon they will be able to use the transport alone. All you need to do is discuss what happens in emergencies, or what they should do if approached by someone. You can then let them have their own freedom knowing they are safe and sound.
Monitor Internet Usage
Young children who have excessive mobile phone or tablet use as children develop less fine motor skills and concentrate less. You can negate this by limiting the amount of time your children stare at a screen. Give them something else to do, such as playing with a toy or reading a book.
When they reach the teen years, you will need to have a discussion about internet usage. Discuss frankly what the internet can and is used for. Talk about cyberbullying and blackmail, along with adult content.
Unless your child is having real problems that they refuse to discuss, browsing their internet history can lead to more trouble than it is worth. It is best to build this relationship up before the need occurs, talking openly, and creating a dialogue.
Buy Them a Mobile Phone
While this may make monitoring internet usage harder, a mobile phone is a lifeline when trying to keep your children safe. It allows you to reach them quickly in case of an emergency either at your end or theirs.
You may choose to give them a phone that is only capable of text messages and calling, though this can alienate them. Instead, talk clearly about proper and improper mobile phone use.
What Can Parents Do?
Children will never be safer than when they are under your roof. You can keep an eye on them, keep them healthy, and guide their decisions here. Home should be their first point of call as a safe haven.
It stands to reason then, that you would want them to stay at home as much as they can, and to do this, you must allow it as a place of exploration. Let them invite friends over and allow them to do what they want (within reason). Let them have video game nights, movie parties, and sleepovers.
Responsibility starts and ends with you. Children will model your behavior and you need to always be aware of this in everything you do.
Never drink and drive, not even one or two beers with a meal. Drive responsibly at all times, never succumbing to anger or road rage.
If playing sports or cycling, always wear protective equipment such as padding and helmets. It may look impressive that you care so little for your own safety, but when injuries occur you will be the one unable to look after your child.
Protect and Safeguard the House
Protecting your house is imperative, both to internal and external threats.
Internally, fit fire and smoke detectors throughout your house. Make sure they are tested regularly and batteries are replaced. Fit guards on doors and windows that prevent children from falling out, but make sure they can be easily released in case of a fire.
Make sure all medicines and cleaning products are placed out of the reach of children or are in locked cabinets. All items liable to cause harm such as kitchen implements should also be out of reach.
External threats are mainly intruders coming into your house. Gate your property and fit intruder alarms or CCTV. You may wish to keep a weapon in the house, such as the many OTF switchblade for sale that you can find online.
If You Still Don’t Feel You Have Done Enough
If you get this far and have tried all the points on the list, then you probably have done enough. Children can not be wrapped in cotton wool forever and without some exposure to danger, they will never develop common sense and awareness. However, that will never really make you stop worrying.
Our blog is full of tips that can help you build relationships with your child and safeguard their future. Read our other articles so that you can keep your children safe while strengthening your family bond today!