Thursday, July 2, 2009

Safety Town

Last week my son completed our city's Safety Town course for children entering kindergarten. And while I enjoyed seeing my friends daily at drop-off and pick-up, I realized at his graduation that it was much more than a social activity (although I truly enjoyed coffee with my girlfriends and the adult interaction each morning). I was truly impressed with all of the knowledge he acquired during his 10 days.

Here are a few of the lessons I thought were worth passing along to you:
  1. Practice a fire drill with your children...and have a meeting spot outside of your house where they know to go if there is a fire. And if they are unable to get out of the house, tell them to stay near a window and keep yelling, "I'm here, I'm here!" It helps them to have a plan and to run through it so that they can keep calm in the event of a real fire.
  2. Have a codeword that only you, your child, and anyone who may have your permission to pick them up know. Have a conversation with your children and explain that if another adult ever says, "Your mom/dad told me to pick you up," that they should ask them what the codeword is. If the adult doesn't know, your child doesn't go!
  3. Have the uncomfortable conversation with your child about appropriate vs. inappropriate touching. Make sure you stress that they could never tell you something that would make you upset with them or stop loving them (tactics predators use).
  4. If a dog becomes aggressive, tell your child to become a tree (arms in, tall and still). If your child gets knocked down by a dog, tell them to become a log (arms in and still).
  5. Discuss car safety...why we wear seat belts, what the colors of the traffic lights mean, what to do at a stop sigh, how to respect pedestrians, and that drivers need to concentrate...perhaps you'll have some peace in the car!
I know as a parent you don't like to imagine any of the above scenarios needing to be discussed, but preparing children and empowering them with safety knowledge is the best thing you can do to ensure they stay safe!

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