It’s scary enough just raising a child…The world we live in today makes it even scarier. These days, even a preschooler needs to know emergency skills. Here’s 12 tips for keeping your preschooler safe, and equipping them with the skills they need to face the world.
1. TEACH PHONE SKILLS
Your preschooler should know how to use a phone in case of an emergency. Teach your preschooler how to dial 911, and make sure they understand that they should never call 911 unless there is a real emergency. Your preschooler should also know your full name, and phone number in case they are ever lost.
For a little extra peace of mind head over to Road ID and grab your preschooler a bracelet engraved with all of your contact information. Make sure they know that if they’re ever separated from you they need to show the person helping them that bracelet.
It’s important to talk with your preschooler and make sure they know about safety, but it’s also important to listen to what they have to say. Your preschooler can reveal a lot about their life while they’re seemingly jabbering away about nonsense. Paying attention when your preschooler is telling you about their day is a great way to pick up on anything that seems off.
3. TEACH BOUNDARIES
Your preschooler needs to understand personal boundaries and consent. Unfortunately we live in a world where your preschooler needs to know that they are in control of their own bodies, and nobody should ever touch their private parts. Make sure your preschooler knows they don’t ever have to do something that makes them uncomfortable just because someone older than them said they should, and they can say no whenever something doesn’t feel right.
Teach your preschooler that if anyone ever tries to get them to do something that makes them uncomfortable, especially after saying no, they need to run away and go find an adult they trust.
4. PRACTICE STREET SAFETY
Make sure your preschooler knows that cars can be dangerous if we’re not careful. Make a point to stop and look both ways before crossing a street, and explain to your preschooler that you’re making sure there’s no cars coming so you don’t get hurt.
Making sure your preschooler is aware of the dangers of moving cars, and practicing safety when crossing streets is a great way to prevent your excited child from deciding to dart off into the road one day without looking.
5. BUILD SELF ESTEEM
Let’s be honest here…kids can be brutal. They’re the first ones to point out that giant pimple you got overnight, or ask why your breath smells so bad after you just pigged out on hot wings and garlic fries. Luckily, adults have a pretty thick skin when dealing with insults from children, but your preschooler may not.
Building your child’s self esteem is a great way to protect them against bullying. When your preschooler knows that negative comments aren’t true, then they aren’t as damaging.
6. GET TO KNOW EVERYONE
You can help keep your preschooler safe by making sure you know the people that your preschooler is spending their time around very well. If you plan to leave your preschooler in someone’s care, you should do a background check on that person.
Federal law requires schools to conduct background checks on all staff, but private schools don’t necessarily have the same requirements. You have the right to ask your preschooler’s provider if they have completed a background check, or if they will complete one. If they can’t or won’t provide you with background information, you should see this as a red flag and take your preschooler somewhere else.
7. TEACH STRANGER DANGER
It is so important to make sure that your preschooler understands the dangers of talking to a stranger when a trusted adult is not nearby. Of course, your preschooler is still young enough that they usually have a trusted adult close by, but it’s never too early to start teaching your child the skills to identify a bad situation.
Your preschooler should know that it’s not normal for an adult to come to a child for help, and if a stranger ever asks them for help finding a lost dog, asks them if they want some candy, or tries to walk away with them, they should scream as loud as they can and run away and find you immediately.
8. FIND TRUSTED ADULTS
If for any reason your preschooler is ever unable to find you, they need to know what to do. Tell your preschooler to stay calm, go to the nearest mother with children, and ask for help. A mother may be the easiest thing for your preschooler to identify, and is statistically going to be a safe choice to help your child.
Also be sure to explain to your preschooler that they can find someone working behind a counter or a desk and ask them for help.
9. TEACH WATER SAFETY
Even if you don’t spend a lot of time around water, your preschooler should learn about water safety. Make sure your preschooler knows that they need to stay away from bodies of water without adult supervision because they can get hurt.
This is a great time to start teaching your preschooler to swim if you haven’t already. Teaching your preschooler to swim could save their life if they ever fall into water unexpectedly.
10. MONITOR SCREEN TIME
A preschooler shouldn’t be sent off to play with a tablet with no supervision. If your preschooler uses a tablet to play educational games, or listen to music…Make sure you pay attention to what’s happening on their screen, especially if your child has access to youtube.
11. SET LIMITS
It’s important for your preschooler to learn about safety while having fun. Your preschooler should know that there’s rules when playing on a playground, such as not climbing on fences, not standing on swings, and using equipment as it was intended.
Your preschooler may not love the idea at first, but they need to wear a helmet while they are learning to ride a bike. If you get lucky, they may like the design enough to give it a try. If the design doesn’t get them excited then they will learn to get used to it when you explain that wearing the helmet is the only way they get to ride their awesome new bike.
12. TRUST YOUR GUT
If you feel off about a situation, chances are something is off. Do not ever hesitate to remove your child from a situation if you even think they could be in danger. Don’t stop to think about who you will offend, don’t stop to second guess yourself… just grab that precious little one of yours and go.
As long as your preschooler has you watching out for them, they will be safe.