Summer is around the corner, we promise. No matter how much it snows in the next few days, the warm weather isn't far away.
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.