The season brings neighbors together for all kinds of outdoor activities. While your local barbecue or block party is a great time to reconnect with neighbors and enjoy a potluck, it’s also a great chance to review home and neighborhood safety tips with your children.
Here are five tips to bring up with your kids ahead of summer:
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 kids 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.
It’s never too early to talk to your children and family about ways to stay safe.