It's a parent's worst nightmare: getting a call and finding out that their child has been in an accident or harmed in any way. As parents, we take on the responsibility of being there to protect our children, but what about when we're not with them? As your child grows older and goes on outings with their school, other parents or on their own, it's important that you arm them with the knowledge on how to stay out of harm's way. From stranger danger to being road aware, we take you through some of the key safety lessons you should teach your child.
How to call 000
Encourage your kids to learn the emergency number off by heart. Outline situations in which they might need 000 help and explain to them exactly what they need to do when they place the call, including how to ask for police, fire or ambulance services.
It's also important that your child knows their own address, phone number and both parents' full names by heart in the event that they get lost or are involved in an accident. Also teach your child the circumstances in which they can and cannot give this information out, i.e. never tell a stranger, but you can tell a policeman or a friend's mum.
Teach your child:
- That a stranger is someone they don't know or recognise.
- That they should never go anywhere with a stranger, no matter what they tell them.
- That you would never send a stranger to pick them up, but make a list for them of all the people you might potentially send to pick them up.
- Explain to your child what they should do if they're afraid, being followed or confronted by a stranger, e.g. go to a safe place like a police station, store, school or friend's home and tell a trustworthy adult immediately.
- Teach your child to call for help loudly and repeatedly if they're in danger.
What you can do as a parent
- While of course all parents want to keep their children safe and warn them of the possible dangers, it's also important to keep this in balance and not make your children terrified of the outside world. Reassure them that they're safe and they shouldn't be afraid of heading out.
- Always supervise young children who are not old enough to be left on their own.
- Always know where your child is at all times. Have the contact details of the family or supervisor your child is with handy.
The information provided above is to be used as a guide only. Find more information online and at the following websites: