It’s never too early for kids to learn how to stay safe. There are things we can do that teach kids to stay safe from danger.
6 Ways to Teach Kids to Stay Safe
In childcare in Oklahoma, we are required by DHS licensing regulations to perform fire drills, tornado drills, and smoke and carbon monoxide detector checks monthly. We do our safety drills near the first part of the month. I test the smoke detector while the kids are here so they can be familiar with the loud sound and know what it means.
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In addition to fire drills, I teach my Little Sprouts fire safety lessons. Stop, Drop, and Roll, and Get out, Stay out, and Don’t go Back in are some of the mantras we repeat. We practice being on fire and how to put the fire out and we practice where to go in a fire or tornado.
I also show them where they could go if something ever happened to Ms. Christina. I have an older neighbor that stays home, and she is our safe house. She has a dog named Patty Cake so we call her Patty Cake’s mom. All the kids know her and we talk about her being a safe place when we take walks down the street.
Teaching safety to preschoolers
We do tornado drills monthly as well. We practice meeting in the interior bathroom and talk about getting in the bathtub with our pillow on our head if there really was a tornado.
Even if I didn’t run a home daycare, I think drills are important to do with your own kids and grandkids too. It takes some of the fear away in a real incident if they know what to do to stay safe.
It is important to teach and remind children some things should not be played with. Lighters, matches, electrical outlets, and the stove, among other things, should be left alone. It’s good to give reminders of this periodically to help kids remember. Teach kids to stay safe by avoiding dangerous things.
Teaching kids their phone number
One of the most important things I do with my children is teaching them their full name, phone number, and their parent’s names. You might think this is silly, but it has paid off big for me. Children should know this information in the event they ever get lost. They are a big part of staying safe. If your child should end up in a situation like this, a helper could help them find you if they know your name and phone number.
One of my daycare kids, two years old at the time, went on a field trip to the zoo with his uncle and was left there. The zoo is about an hour from the town we live in. I always tell the kids if they ever get lost from their parents, they should find a helper wearing a uniform. If they cannot find one, they should tell a mom with little kids. Moms are usually safe helpers.
The boy was at the penguin exhibit and could not find his uncle. He couldn’t find someone in a uniform so he found a mom with a baby in a stroller. He told her, I am lost and I need help. She took him to the security office and they contacted his parents because he knew his dad’s first and last name and his mom’s cell number.
I can’t imagine what could have happened if he didn’t. The uncle went home and never realized he was missing but the parents were able to go to the town where he was and pick him up. I was so grateful I taught him that, and so were his parents.
Safety for preschoolers
I had another child get separated from her parents at an amusement park. She found a security guard and told him her mom’s name. She was three. He announced the mom’s name on the loudspeaker and they were able to be reunited. Her parents were so grateful I teach kids to stay safe at daycare.
In the past, when I have taken the kids on field trips, I have always put one of my business cards in their pocket with my contact information, just in case. Parents could easily do this as well.
Something I ALWAYS did with my own daughter, and practice with my daycare kids, is tell them we NEVER EVER keep secrets from mom and dad. We can make surprises for them, but NO ONE SHOULD EVER tell a child they have to keep something a secret from their mom or dad. Kids should know its okay to tell their parents anything. Knowing what behaviors aren’t okay is a great start to staying safe.
Teaching your child to stay safe
You can never be too cautious with children. I am always trying to think of ways to teach kids to stay safe and to keep them safe that I may have overlooked before. Hopefully, something I suggested here will help you teach your kids to stay safe.
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