A primer for preschooler safety

How important is safety for preschoolers? Safety for all children is crucial. Knowing basic safety rules as preschoolers is vital.

Once your child is up on his/her own two feet, every day is a new adventure. This is an exciting and fun stage of life, yet it has its risks and dangers too. As a parent, you’re the first line of defense for your children. By teaching them a few basic rules, you can help them make the right decisions to stay safe.

Your little ones can learn a lot about safety if you take some time to teach them. Keep your lessons simple and even very young children can learn how to stay clear of danger. Here’s an ABC rule that you and your children can recite together.

A: Always ride in a car safety seat

hnBoosterSeatPreschoolerTeach your child to get into his or her safety seat. Always make sure your child sits in the back seat of the car, completely buckled into his or her car seat, even if you’re only driving to the nearest convenience store.

“When a child is in a booster seat, make sure the child is using a lap and shoulder belt,” says Queta Almanza, injury prevention specialist at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. “Make sure the shoulder belt goes across their bodies and they do not put it behind them or under their arm.”

B: Beware of fire

Always keep matches and lighters out of reach of your child. Teach your child never to touch matches and lighters and to tell you or another responsible adult immediately if someone is playing with them.

Make sure children know that if their clothes catch on fire, they should “stop, drop and roll.” Young children may take the safety slogans literally and roll only one revolution, so practice rolling with them to extinguish mock flames.

Devise a family escape route, and crawl with them on the floor to practice getting safely out of the house. Make sure they know what your home’s smoke alarms sound like.

C: Call for help with the telephone

Even very young children can learn to call for help by dialing 911 or your local emergency number. Practice dialing the number either on a pretend phone or a disconnected one and stress that the number is used only for emergencies. Tell them not to hang up as that is a key connection that helps emergency services to find them. You want them to stay on the line because, if they hang up, the connection is gone.