When it comes to child safety, the recommendations and tips can become overwhelming fast. From expensive devices to time-consuming planning, deciding where to start and what to do can lead to parental inactivity. This list covers five simple, low cost ways you can ensure your home and children are safer this weekend.
Have a Safety Check
Spend some time going through your house looking for exposed outlets and window blind cords, broken toys and other hazards. Be sure windows are locked and ensure furniture isn’t pushed up against them. Give your medicine cabinet and night stand once over and be sure there are no medications accessible to your children. Be sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector are working and that cleaning products are stored out of reach and out of sight.
Have a Fire Drill
Many families have a fire plan but what about a drill? Take just a few minutes
this weekend and run through a fire drill. Talk about your meeting point
outside of the home and all the ways that the kids can get there. While children may think they know the fire
plan, having them run through a few possible fire scenarios will allow them to
cement that knowledge and allow you to reinforce safety tips like making sure
they never re-enter a burning building and making sure they leave
|The National Fire Protection Association|
suggest checking all home fire detectors
once a month!
Create a Disaster Kit
Much like a fire plan, a disaster kit is a must-have item that families hope they will never need. Whether it's inclement weather or a sudden tornado, having a plastic bucket that stores a few days’ worth of food and water and emergency supplies can help your family survive and thrive in an emergency. Walk through the government Ready Campaign to get an idea of supplies that should be included in your kit and put one together.
Come Up with a Code Word
While parents always imagine they will be available in all emergencies, the fact is that there are some instances when they will need to rely on another adult to relay information to their children. Creating a family code word will give your children the ability to "test" whether information is coming from a parent or not. Pick a code word that is unique but memorable. A favorite camp site or a departed pet name will stick in your children's minds. A code can ensure that should an unknown adult need to tell your children information, they have a way to find out whether it's legitimate.
Talk Road Safety
Whether your child is still in a stroller or getting their first two-wheeler, road safety is an important skill to have and understand. Take a walk this weekend to discuss road safety while walking and while biking. Reinforce basics of looking both ways and walking against traffic but biking with it and the importance of always wearing helmet and protective gear. Talk to children about making eye contact with drivers before crossing the road and understanding the dangers of walking in the street. Younger children may benefit from learning what each sign means. Road safety is an ongoing discussion and potential danger so have this conversation often.
Safety doesn't have to result in extensive planning or high bills. Safety starts with discussion. Engage with your family this weekend to get everyone on the same page when it comes to home safety.
With over 20 years of experience in the nanny world as an award-winning nanny, agency director, and parenting author, Michelle LaRowe is considered a leading industry expert. A mom herself, she loves to educate parents and nannies on the importance of quality in-home childcare. Find out more by visiting @eNannySource on Twitter.