Keeping your kids safe is one of the most challenging, but important responsibilities you have as a parent. We’ve all felt the panic of witnessing our children accidentally (or even on purpose!) putting themselves in a dangerous situation – from playing with a dangerous object to hiding in a place you’ve told them is off limits.
That’s why it’s essential that you are proactive in teaching your kids about safety. This is particularly important when it comes to street safety – as the environment outside the confines of our homes is riddled with a variety of unfamiliar and unsafe possible situations.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of safety tips that can help prevent your children from harm’s way. Here are 3 of the best street safety tips to teach your kids.
1. Never Chase Anything Into the Street
Children’s playful mindset means that they will often feel the urge to follow things that capture their attention. Whether it’s the toy they’re playing with, or someone or something that catches their eye, children naturally will chase after whatever it is that is escaping their grasp or sight.
Needless to say, this can lead to a number of unsafe scenarios. That’s why we think Extremely Good Parenting’s tip to teach your child to “never chase anything into the street” is critical. Think back to how many times toys roll into the street, dogs run off, random people walk by. It’s quite a lot, right?
Remember, a child won’t know it is unsafe to chase after these things unless you teach them why this is the case. Take the time to sit down with your child and talk about the importance of following this rule. It’s a talk that is sure to pay off the next time they have the urge to chase something down the street.
2. Wear a Sturdy Bike Helmet
Whether your child is on training wheels or has graduated to a two-wheeler, bike safety is paramount. As such, a reliable helmet is one of the most important investments you can make. Getting your child into the habit of wearing a helmet from an early age will help prevent their head from injury if they fall.
However, just because you decide that a helmet should be worn, doesn’t mean your child will follow suit. That’s why you need to find a kid’s helmet that is not only reliable but also fashionable. Of course, your child will have many opinions of what makes a fashionable helmet, so why not let your kid choose? Set a budget, and let your child choose the color or pattern they most like. This will encourage them to feel like it was their decision to start wearing a helmet, which will, in turn, make them more likely to grab for their helmet each time they head out on a bike ride. It’s a win-win for both parents and kids!
3. Teach Them to Trust Their Intuition
This one is a big one. Depending on the age of your child, you aren’t always going to be by their side when they’re playing outside. That is why it’s essential that you teach your child to trust their intuition. We often don’t give children enough credit for how much they perceive about a given situation. However, children are incredibly intuitive, and can often acutely sense when something isn’t quite right.
Explain to your child that when they have a feeling that a situation is making them uncomfortable or feels odd, to get themselves out of it. Don’t assume your child will understand what you’re saying right off the bat – intuition is quite a difficult concept for many children to understand.
As the Huffington Post explains, “Like any other skill, children need to first identify a gut reaction.” They recommend that you should start off by talking about the “butterflies in the stomach” reaction we get when we are nervous. From there, you can work with your child to develop their understanding of the cues their body communicates with them when they’re feeling a situation isn’t right, and the appropriate actions they should take.