Ensuring their child’s safety should be every parent’s topmost priority. While you can’t be with your little one every second, there are a few ways to reduce the safety risks of your child whenever they’re outdoors.
Educate Your Child on Personal Safety
As parents, you must educate your child on the importance of personal safety as early as possible. Repetition is integral to learning, especially for children, so take time each day to teach your little ones how to protect themselves while outdoors. Reiterate the rule of never talking to strangers and not wandering off alone.
Teach your child not to eat or drink anything they find or that has been given to them by other kids or adults. You should also educate them on what to do in case they accidentally get lost. For younger children, make it as fun as possible to help increase their retention and comprehension.
Have a Contingency Plan
While most emergency cases are unfortunate, it is often inevitable, so being prepared is essential. Create a contingency plan in case of a fire, earthquake, accident, or any hostile or unforeseen situations that can place them in danger. Share this information with your child, and ensure they understand the instructions clearly.
Your family emergency plan should include meeting locations, contact numbers, evacuation procedures, and escape routes. Practice this with your family frequently and update it when necessary.
Aside from making our lives easier, technology can also help protect our kids from harm. Invest in tech tools and wearable gadgets that can efficiently keep track of your child. Install an outdoor smart security system to help monitor your little one’s movements outside your home. You can also have them wear age-appropriate trackers with user-friendly features.
Teach Your Child about Road Safety
Road safety is another vital aspect that you should educate your child about. If your house is near a road or busy intersection, teach them to be mindful of their surroundings and how to properly cross the street to prevent road accidents. If your child bikes often, emphasize the significance of following traffic rules, wearing safety gear, and the basics of bicycle safety.
You should also educate your child on how to behave in a moving vehicle and why they should always remain seated in their car or booster seats. Invest in a quality car seat brand such as Diono to ensure your little one is safe and comfortable inside the car.
Secure the Environment
Whether you live in a gated village or a rural community, it is essential you secure your child’s outdoor play area. Assess your backyard and remove any potential hazards that could injure your little one. Remove dead tree branches, debris, and broken glass, and watch out for insects or pest infestations.
Clean and tidy up the area and properly cut the grass so you can easily see if snakes or other wild animals are hiding. On the other hand, if you have limited outdoor space or live in an apartment, make sure that your child knows the designated play areas.
Inspect Their Outdoor Play Gear
Aside from securing your child’s play area, you should also regularly inspect their outdoor equipment. If you have a pool or trampoline, ensure that they’re covered or locked when not in use. Check their slides, swings, and other play gear for defects or signs of wear and tear. Get rid of old or potentially dangerous outdoor play equipment and invest in durable high-quality ones.
Be Mindful of the Weather
Seasonal changes and extreme weather conditions can significantly influence your child’s outdoor safety. Take time to learn about your area’s weather conditions and the common natural hazards. Never allow your little one to play outdoors during rainy weather, especially when thunderstorms are forecasted. You should also limit your child’s outdoor playing hours during extremely low-temperature months.
Dress Your Child Properly
Keep your child hydrated whenever they’re outdoors, especially if you’re living in a country with a hot climate. Make sure they wear age-appropriate sunscreen and look out for signs of dehydration. Have them wear appropriate clothing to safeguard their skin from excessive sun exposure. During winter, remember to dress your child in layers, provide them with non-slip footwear, and be ready for temperature fluctuations.
Enrol Your Child in Self-Defence Classes
Another way to improve your child’s personal safety is by signing them up for self-defence classes. These classes not only help protect your child from threats, but they can also build confidence and instil discipline in your little one. Some self-defence classes include mixed martial arts, taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu. Teach your child how to be assertive when faced with a difficult circumstance or get involved in a bullying situation.
Keeping your child safe outdoors need not be difficult. Follow these tips, trust your instincts, and always be a proactive parent.
Image Credits: Artem Kniaz