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Safety Skills for the Whole Family

BY ELIZABETH TANYA JIRAH LEE D.

 

Safety is one issue us parents worry about, and equipping your child on what to do in different scenarios can definitely ease the apprehensions. More so, when your child is ready, an experience can alter from a traumatic encounter into an empowering one! HeyMom compiles safety tips for situations relevant today that you can go over with your little one. Keep them handy this coming school year and rainy season!

 

 

MALL STRATEGIES

Your child's natural curiosity may make them wander away while in the mall. Being lost is scary no matter what age, so here are things you can teach him when he gets separated from you or his caregiver.

 

1. Teach your child that when this happens, he should stop where he is and keep calm.

2. He should look around for grown-ups, because they’re usually nearby looking for him too.

3. If the adult is not visible, then teach him to yell out the adult’s name. Practice this at home to boost your child's confidence in doing so.

4. Show him how to identify mall employees and security officers that can be of help.

5. If he can't locate any, he can ask a woman with children or grandparents for help. They’re least likely to harm a child.

 

Parent Tip:  Dress your child in bright clothes to easily spot him. Put identification badges in their pockets and have them memorize your phone number. Go back to the last place you were with your child. Ask for the mall's security for help immediately to speed up the search. You can also assign a meet-up place with your child in every mall you visit.

 

Image by Katherine Evans from freeimages.com

 

STRANGER KNOW-HOW

Children's innocence makes them an easy target for people with bad intentions. Educate your child on what to do when strangers approach him or hover too close for comfort.

 

1. Tell your child to always ask permission from you, or a trusted adult like his teacher, caregiver, or close relative, before talking or getting close to a stranger.

2. Advise him to never give personal information to a stranger. He must trust his gut feel and stay away from anyone who makes him feel uncomfortable.

3. Practice saying “NO” with him and teach him to stay away from people who are offering treats, a ride, or asking help with a task (like finding a lost pet). He must immediately report this to a safe grownup. Teach your kids to identify "safe grownups", such as a school authority, security guard, co-parent, and the like.

4. If an abductor is already grabbing your child, he should kick, bite, scream, fight, and make as much as noise as he can.

 

Parent Tip: Explaining different stranger scenarios can frighten your child, so speak in a calm manner and reiterate that these are safety precautions. Know where he is at all times. Have him go out with an adult or a friend you know. Being in a group is also safer for your child. This buddy system keeps your child in check as well.

 

By Red Cross [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

HOME SAFETY

There are unforeseeable circumstances that may happen even at home such as a power outage or natural calamities. Give your child tips on how to handle these situations.

 

1. Have the emergency kit handy and accessible to the entire family, especially your child. Instruct him how to use flashlights, cellular phones, and the portable radio. Safe drinking water, easy open canned goods, and first aid should be readily available in the kit. Show your child where the kit is stored, detailing responsible and proper usage of the items inside.

2. Remind your child not to play with fire and teach him how to use the fire extinguisher for small flames. Thoroughly brief him the emergency escape plan as well.

3. During black outs, earthquakes, or flooding inside the house, guide him on how to unplug sensitive electrical equipment to avoid damage to appliances. Teach this to older kids who may be of help when everyone in the family is working on the situation.

4. Post emergency numbers near the landline that your child can call to get help. If the phone lines are down, let him know that a car charger or power bank can be used for charging cellphones.

5. In cases of strong typhoon winds or earthquakes, show them the safest and sturdiest location in your home away from glass windows. When shaking starts, he must drop down and take cover underneath tables and protect his head. He should remain inside the house until it is safe to exit.

 

Image by Shayan (USA) from flickr.com (CC BY 2.0)

 

LATE PICK-UP TIPS

We sometimes can't prevent being late from fetching our child in school, at a friend’s house, or at a play area. Reduce the panic and teach your child these tips.

 

1. Lend him a phone with your and your chosen fetchers' numbers stored in it. Alternatively, have him keep a list of numbers and important details in his bag or clothing. He can hand this to a trusted adult assigned to look after him if he can't access a phone.

2. Tell your child to stay inside the premises and not to wander away until you arrive. He shouldn't ride with other adults or children without your strict permission.

 

Parent Tip: Speak to his school administration, friend's caregiver, or play area manager of the people who can fetch him in case you can't. Let them know immediately if you can’t pick your child up on time. Advise your relatives or trusted friends that they're your chosen fetchers. Your child will feel secure knowing that he can count on Tita or Lolo to pick him up when you're not available.

 

Image by Barney Moss from flicker.com (CC BY 2.0)

 

BASIC FIRST AID

With school starting and the rainy season approaching, equip your child with basic first aid knowledge in case of sickness and accidents.

 

1. If he slips and hits his head hard, he should be careful not to shake his head and call for help immediately. Advise him to tell you if he is sleepy, nauseous, couldn’t see well, or has a severe headache (and get professional help right away). If he is bleeding from the slip but no head injury, and an adult is still on the way, teach him to apply pressure on the wound until help arrives.

2. If he hurts his extremities such as his leg, teach him to manage with RICE until an adult can look after him:

R-est the sprained or strained area

I-ce the affected area

C-ompress by wrapping an elastic bandage lightly around the injured site

E-levate above heart level

3. After playing in the rain, he must dry himself off and remove wet clothing. If he feels cold or develop chills, he can warm up safely by wrapping himself in warm and dry clothes, drink warm beverages, and apply hot packs wrapped with cloth to his skin. He can only take a warm shower once his temperature is regulated.

4. If your child develops colds, advise him to drink lots of water. For a toddler, teach him how to blow his nose to relieve congestion. Your child can also use more pillows to elevate his head and to sleep comfortably.

 

Parent Tip: If your child is gasping or is unresponsive, call for professional help immediately and start CPR for children. Always have first aid kits at home, in your travel bag, and in your car, and have a guide readily available as well.

 

There you have it, safety tips that you and your child can count on in relevant situations today. Do you have other recommendations you can share with fellow moms? Sound it off at the comments section!

 

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