Communities across the United States will gather today to celebrate National Night Out, an evening dedicated to strengthening communities and promoting safer streets. While your local barbecue or block party is a great time to reconnect with your neighbors and enjoy a potluck, it’s also a great opportunity to review home and neighborhood safety tips with your children. Here are five quick tips to bring up with your kids during your neighborhood event this week.
1. Post important personal and contact information in a central place in your home.
- Include parents’ names, street address, mobile, home and work phone numbers, 911, poison control, fire department, police department, and helpful neighbors.
- Use a neighborhood party to help children to familiarize themselves with their neighbors and identify whom they can go to for help.
2. Teach your child how and when to call 911.
- Discuss specifics of what an emergency is and when 911 should be used.
- Role play different scenarios and make sure kids know what information to give to the 911 operator.
- For younger kids, discuss the different roles of emergency workers and what they do.
3. Discuss “stranger danger.”
- Talk with your kids about who is allowed to pick them up from school or activities.
- Talk to your kids about the importance of walking in pairs.
- Ensure they always take the same route home from school and do not take shortcuts.
4. Practice proper street safety.
- Have children practice looking both ways before stepping into the street, using the crosswalk and obeying the walk/don’t walk signals.
- Teach kids what different road signs mean, such as a stop sign.
- Remind children about the importance of biking with a helmet and reflective light.
5. Talk to your children about fire safety.
- If fire trucks are present at the neighborhood party, use their presence as an opportunity to discuss what to do if there were a fire.
- Plan and practice escape routes in your home and designate a meeting spot in case you get separated.
Children’s will join our neighbors in Minneapolis at the Phillips West neighborhood’s National Night Out block party from 5-8 p.m., along 27th Street between Columbus and Portland avenues. All are welcome to attend the evening of food, entertainment and kids’ activities, including the Children’s Making Safe Simple booth, where we’ll play games and give away prizes. We hope to see you there!