My son is 10 and my daughter 4 years old. As they love to explore their surroundings and sometimes get into trouble, it’s become important for me to take some safety precautions.
But many child safety tips that I found online were too difficult to implement. Keeping security cameras all around the house and the backyard? I’m not running a prison for Gods sake. Neither do I feel that frightening my kids is a good way to go. They need to explore the world, but do it with some intelligence and in an environment that’s reasonably safe.
I’ve done my fair bit of research and implemented the following child safety tips that seemed reasonable and worthwhile. I hope you’ll find them useful as well:
Child Safety at Home
For children 6 and under
4 child safety tips that I use to keep my 4-year-old safe in my home;
1. Putting a locked safety gate at the top and bottom of the staircase
I put child safety gates in my home at the top and bottom of the staircase, in order to prevent my child from crawling, or walking, up or down the stairs. She is a very curious, and active, child, so an added protection helps out a lot. It assists with protecting her from injuries that could occur from her falling down the stair.
2. Putting locks on the kitchen drawers
I use a lot of sharp knives, and kitchen utensils, so in order to keep them away from my daughter’s curious hands, I put locks on all the cabinets that hold these objects. Whenever I cook, I wash them promptly, dry them, and lock them away, just in case she figures out how to get up, into, the kitchen sink.
Read more: How to prevent kitchen knife accidents
3. Using plastic dishes, instead of glass ones
I only use plastic dishware (plates, cups, bowls, etc.) in my home, because of my 4-year-old daughter’s safety. My daughter tends to eat a couple of snacks a day, so by using plastic dishware, I do not have to worry about her dishware falling and breaking, and her getting injured. These are really handy for a child of her age.
4. Putting slip-proof mats in the bathtub
Bathtubs can be very slippery, so to protect my daughter, while she’s washing up, I put this large bath mat with a strong grip (link to Amazon) at the bottom of the tub, Even though I assist her in washing up, she likes to play in the tub, and this mat gives her extra protection against falls and slips.
For children 7-12
4 child safety tips that I use to keep my 10-year-old son safe in my home;
1. Keeping a distance from the television set
My son is at that age where all he likes to do is play video games, so in order to protect him from having the television tip over, and fall onto him, from him yanking his controller cords, I got him cordless video game controllers, and I have him sit on my living room couch (which is around 10 feet from the television). This way, no matter how he twists and turns his game controllers, I don’t have to worry about it pulling the television set down on him.
2. Setting the water thermostat to a reasonable temperature
I set my thermostat water temperature to 100 F so that I do not have to worry about my son getting burnt from the hot water, whenever he takes a bath or shower. By keeping the water temperature at a manageable degree, it removes any worries of him playing around with the bath knobs, and/or turning the knobs on full blast and getting burnt.
3. Fire and carbon monoxide safety
I put a carbon monoxide, and smoke detector, above my son’s doorway, to alert him to any potential dangers from either of the two. And I taped an instruction guideline to his bedroom door, for him to look over, to inform him, as to what to do, just in case there was such an emergency.
Read more: How to prevent kitchen fires
4. Never open the door for strangers
I had a very important talk with my son about never opening the front, or back door of the house, for anyone who he’s not familiar with. I explained to him that if someone knocks on the door (even if they say that they’re an authority figure), that he is to come and get me right away and allow me to answer it.
Child Safety on Vacation
For children 6 and under
3 child safety tips that I use when I take my 4-year-old daughter on vacation;
1. Child safety in vehicles
When I take my daughter on vacation, before driving out of my driveway, I make sure that she is secured safely in my vehicle, in her baby seat, with her seatbelt on. I don’t enter my driver’s seat until she is completely secure in the back of my vehicle.
And I make sure to only use a baby seat that has a high rating, and has child safety locks on it, to keep her from playing around with it and/or accidentally, opening it while I am driving. We got her the Safety 1st convertible car seat and absolutely love it. Which leads me into my next tip.
2. Child safety locks
I have a newer modeled vehicle, that has a child safety feature, for all back seat passengers, that automatically locks the back seat doors, and will not allow them to be re-opened, unless the driver opens them. Not all parents have this feature in their vehicle, so I would suggest making sure that once you sit in the driver’s seat, “before you start the engine,” turn on, manually, the child safety locks.
3. Don’t accept food from strangers
I have spoken with my daughter about not taking food from strangers. I have also pointed out to her that while we are out of the house, on vacation, for her not to take “any food,” from anyone who is not a family member. She says she understands, but just for an extra layer of protection, I told her to come and get me whenever she’s hungry, or someone offers her food.
For children 7-12
3 child safety tips that I use to keep my 10-year-old son safe on vacations;
1. Keep your child in view
I explained to my son to always stay where I can see him. I let him know that whether we are at an amusement park, a festival, party, or the beach to always stay within my view so I can know that he’s alright.
2. Stay away from strangers
My son and I had a long discussion about staying away from strangers. When he and I are on vacation I gave him instructions to walk away from anyone that tries to talk to him whom he’s not familiar with, and to come and get me right away.
3. Water safety
My son loves to go swimming, so I spoke with him about always wearing some kind of floating device (such as an air-donut), whenever he goes swimming at the beach or the hotel pool. I also talked with him about not entering the beach water or the hotel pool unless he sees a lifeguard on duty first.
Child Safety in School
For children 6 and under
3 child safety tips that I use to keep my 4-year-old daughter safe, while she is at pre-school;
1. Staying alert
I had a long discussion with my daughter, about paying attention and staying alert to her surroundings. She’s a real independent child, who loves to do things on her own, so I explained to her that she can still be independent, but she should never wander off from her class, and to always have a clear view of her teacher.
2. Follow the teacher’s instructions
My daughter and I had multiple conversations about listening to and respecting what her teacher says. I let her know that her teacher is there to help her, so if there is ever an emergency, she should follow her teacher, or if she feels scared or uncomfortable for any reason, that she should raise her hand, and talk with the teacher about it, right away.
3. Do not eat any foods that are not familiar
I talked to my daughter about not eating any of her classmate’s foods, and lunches, unless she saw me fix that same food at home. I explained to her that there are certain foods that can bother her stomach a whole lot, so no matter how much her friends tell her that the foods are sweet, or delicious if she’s not familiar with it. she needs to avoid eating any of it.
For children 7-12
3 child safety tips that I use to keep my 10-year-old son safe, while he’s at school;
1. Having a private way to communicate with your child
I bought my son a cell phone, and I advised him to keep on him at all times. I told him to call me right away in case of an emergency, or if something (or someone) is putting him in a position where he feels uncomfortable. With this phone on his person, the two of us have direct contact with each other, while he is at school. This cell makes him feels like he has someone just a call away, looking out for him.
2. Alert school personnel for suspicious individuals or packages
I had a very serious discussion with my son, about “immediately,” alerting a school representative if he sees any individuals, or packages, that do not seem like they belong on school grounds. And I also talked with him, explaining that, if any of those “strange” individuals come anywhere near him, to run to a teacher, and/or to scream out for help.
3. Fire safety
I practice fire safety drills at home, to prepare my son for when he’s at school. I had a serious discussion with him about the importance of fire safety. When he’s at school, I informed him, that whenever he hears a fire alarm going off, that he should not panic, but remain calm, and follow the nearest teacher, out of the closest exit. I also explained to him that if there are no teachers or school personnel around him when a fire alarm goes off, that he should still remain calm, locate the nearest exit, and immediately leave.
Final Word: Child Safety Tips for Parents
Keeping a child safe has more to do with creating a safe environment than acting as an over-protective parent. Instead of reminding your kid to not use a sharp kitchen knife, rather have the knife locked in a drawer.
Instead of worrying that a toddler will brake a glass, minimize the use of such vulnerable objects until they’re old enough to handle them carefully.
It’s important that a child is raised with respect towards yourself and other caretakers, whether that’s a nanny or a teacher. Not just for the sake of decency, but also because it will ensure that your child follows that person’s instructions in case of an emergency.
Lastly, don’t worry TOO MUCH. It’s so easy to become a nerve wreck when it comes to our children’s safety. But if you implement the before-mentioned tips much of that stress will disappear on its own.
Before you go, I recommend checking out our home security articles. They deal with preventing burglars, kidnappers and other intruders from breaking into your home. Hope this helps!