As a parent, your children’s safety is one of your top priorities. When your baby is born, you likely start buying all the things to make your home safer, such as outlet covers and corner bumpers – even though it will be some time before your baby starts to be mobile.
Once you start thinking about safety, you realize that there are so many opportunities for your children to be hurt, even in the course of everyday activity. You can’t put your children in a protective bubble – or at least you shouldn’t – but you can take steps to keep them safe. Here are a few important things you should be thinking about to improve their safety:
At a minimum, you should be buckling your child into the appropriate safety seat every time you get in your vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you are only driving around the block; you should always strap your child into the appropriate safety seat. Accidents can happen as you are leaving your driveway, and even minor force can lead to severe injuries for little people.
Check the laws in your state to know the guidelines, and check the safety seat you are using to make sure it is the right match for your child’s weight, height, and age.
When you are teaching your older children car safety, it is important that you emphasize consistent seat belt usage, that you prohibit the use of a phone while driving and that you limit passengers in the car. Make sure you spend plenty of time with your young driver to provide practice and safe driving tips, and enroll your child in a driver education course, if possible. The more you do now, the less likely your chances of needing to pay off traffic citations or calling an auto accident attorney later.
Grocery carts are no big deal for adults, but they can lead to serious injuries for children. Babies and young children can fall out of them or can become trapped in a cart that tips over. If kids hit a hard floor with their head, they could become seriously injured.
Never put your baby’s car seat in the shopping cart. The seat is not made to work with the cart, and it can tip over. Instead, use the seat attached to the cart (if available) or use a baby carrier to hold your baby close while you shop. Never put children in the main basket of the cart, and do not let children stand up in the seat or hang onto the sides. Always place children in the designated seating area, and use the buckle. Use a cart cover to protect your child from germs.
School is not the safe place it was once assumed to be, unfortunately. School shootings have become more common, and even fighting between students has become deadly. Add to the list identity theft, cyber bullying, and a host of other problems.
The best way to keep your kids safe at school is stay active in their lives. Talk to their teachers regularly, and make sure you know who their friends are. Talk to your children about the dangers of bullying, how to spot it, and how to put an end to it. Make sure your school has a plan for an active shooter and that your children have participated in a drill on it. Talk to the front office staff about who is authorized to pick up your children, and put a lock on sharing your information.
There is so much you can do to keep your children safer at school, but it requires more than just giving your kid a cell phone or using the right safety equipment. You have to talk with teachers and other professionals to create a comprehensive plan.
Many parents have lost a child in a public place, and those moments can be terrifying. And we’ve all seen what can happen when a child gets away from a parent in a potentially dangerous place like a zoo or amusement park. A fast kid can get away from even the most diligent parents.
You can’t prevent these things from happening, but you can minimize their risk and you can increase the odds that you’ll find your children quickly. Always take a photo of your child at the beginning of your outing so that you have the most recent photo of what your child looks like and is wearing. You can circulate that photo among the staff where you are to find your child quickly.
You can also write your phone number on your child’s arm in marker and give your child a safety device with a tracker. A basic smart phone can also work for this.
It may seem like there are dangers lurking around every corner for your child, but if you follow some basic safety procedures, you can rest a little easier. These tips will help you to minimize the risks.