Feeling the security of your home is crucial for you and even more so for your children who need to know their home is a safe place. Unfortunately, there are quite a number of dangers they can face even inside the safety of their house. To ensure their safety inside, it is vital we teach them some basic safety rules they need to follow around the house.
Talking to subject matter experts, we put together some top tips on teaching your kids about home safety.
“I recommend teaching your children about all of the important locks in your home, how to use them, and to keep windows and doors closed and secure at all times. You may have combination locks, deadbolt locks, or even Smart door locks, so ensuring that your children are able to navigate that basic level of home security is essential. This is especially important for parents who are preparing to let their child be at home alone for the first time. If you are letting your child stay home alone, create a list of safety tips that includes important contact info, rules, and reminders.
“If you have a home security system, give your children a walkthrough of how it works. Let them know where the emergency button is on the control panel, how to access the security cameras, and show them what happens if door and window sensors are activated. Knowledge is power, and even being aware of the home’s security features will make your child feel more confident and safe.”
Kristen Bolig, Founder at SecurityNerd
2. Talk About Safety Often
“Safety is a sensitive subject, but it’s incredibly important to broach it with your children. The best advice in equipping your child for home safety would firstly be to discuss it as often as possible. Children don’t like talking about negative consequences, and a lot of the time, they won’t retain what you tell them. Therefore, you might need to say it a number of times before they start to understand the meaning.” (David Marshall)
3. Be More Specific
“If you find that your child doesn’t seem to grasp the importance of home safety, it might be a sign that you’re not being specific enough. Be clear about what might happen if they speak to strangers, leave doors open, or go out unsupervised. Then, give them actionable steps on what to do if they find themselves in frightening situations such as these. The most important thing to do is make it as easy as possible for your children to follow your instructions – especially when you’re not present. That way, instead of panicking, they’ll remember what you told them and act accordingly.”
David Marshall, Founder Performio
4. How To Call The Emergency Services
Teach children to call the emergency services and for what reasons. Falls, burns, and cuts regularly happen around the home and family members may have conditions that require emergency assistance – anaphylaxis, for example. Fires, floods, and intruders can cause harm too. Showing children how to appropriately call for help when needed without scaring them is important.” (Clive Harris)
5. Safety Around Medications
“Teaching your child what medicines are for and keeping all your medications safely locked away and out of reach is essential. Lots of powerful drugs are easy to swallow and kids’ medications often taste sweet. Junior paracetamol tastes like strawberries but if they drink the whole bottle it’ll lead to a life-threatening overdose.” (Clive Harris)
6. Safety Around Pets
“Rules for interaction with household animals are overlooked because we tend to trust our family pets. This can lead to children pushing an animal too far so they bite or scratch. Teach kids to respect animals. Don’t let them climb on pets, chase them, or annoy them in any way. This is true for any type of animal including dogs, cats, reptiles, rodents, and birds. Respecting household pets creates good manners too.”
Clive Harris, the creator of DIY Garden
7. Learn to Recognize and Not Trust Strangers
“Among all the things that we can teach our children about home safety, teaching them not to trust a stranger is the most important one. This has been the golden rule that I learned from my father, that my grandfather had taught him. Kids are just so innocent that they don’t know who to trust yet. Therefore you need to instill in their minds that a stranger always means danger regardless of what that stranger says or how friendly they might be. The key here is to make sure they know how to spot a real stranger. To do this, ask them what a stranger looks like for them then correct any misconceptions that they have. This way they’ll become smarter and will never be tricked by any stranger.”
Ryan Patel, Founder Lottery Sambad
8. Never Stand Behind A Closed Door
“One of the common reasons children face injuries at home is because children happen to be standing behind a closed door and someone unaware on the other side opens the door. As a result they end up getting hurt, in some cases it turns out to be a severe head injury as well. It is essential that you teach your children that they steer clear of doors and never stand behind one. It is a common cause of injury among children that can be easily prevented by teaching a new habit to children.”
Brian Kelleher, Founder of Killer Guitar Rigs
9. Never Allow Strangers into the House
“If your kids are old enough to stay at home alone, it is imperative that you teach them not to allow strangers into the house. Encourage them to keep all doors and windows around the house locked throughout the time they are alone. They should only be opening the door for someone they recognize and feel safe with. You should consider installing security cameras around the house, so kids can view who is at the door, without opening the door to Them.”
Mo Mulla is an Entrepreneur and work-from-home dad who writes about parenting challenges and their solutions, Parentalquestions.
10. Never Play with Fire
“Teach them to never play with fire. Kids are just plain curious about anything, especially to fire. If they’re not properly aware of fire safety, it will not only cause some serious injuries but could possibly cause fatality as well. I have two lovely boys and I would say that they are the most curious kids I’ve ever seen. Everything that is new to them, they just can’t help but be amazed and play with it. There was one time they were playing with our neighbor’s kid in the kitchen. Then they saw a match and almost caused a fire. Fortunately, my older kid already knew about its danger and immediately informed me about it. If I haven’t taught my kid that they should not play with a match, I’m certain that they’ll cause a fire while playing with it and could have caused serious injuries.
“You need to understand that you must never fail to educate your children on the potential danger that a fire may cause. Teaching them everything about it is a must. Educate them about the fire hazards like matches, lighter, or electrical appliances and that they must not touch them at all costs. They should also know what to do in the event of a fire. With it, you’re not only narrowing down the chances of fire to happen but are ensuring everyone’s safety as well.”
Israel Gaudette, Founder Link Tracker Pro
The Bottom Line:
“The bottom line, teaching your children about home safety is not a one-time approach. Instead, you need to keep the safety discussion going. It should be continuous and must be done on a daily basis. And the key here is to start early. And that means you need to start when they are very young. Teach them basic safety first. Then as they grow, make the conversation more detailed. This way they’ll never forget every important safety lesson you’ve taught them.”
Israel Gaudette, Founder Link Tracker Pro
Desiree Macy is the Editorial Director of SIA Online Magazine which is frequented by security executives, corporate security officers, and private protection professionals each month. Desiree’s interests revolves around cyber-security, and business continuity.