What to Teach Your Children About Home Safety

Good safety and security habits can start as soon as kids can pick up toys or lock (or unlock) the door. And when everyone in the family does their part to protect each other's safety, everyone is safer.

Below, we've got some tips on how parents can teach kids to make safe choices and practice safe habits.

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Young children

Nearly every event of a child's young life is a learning experience for them and a teaching experience for parents. And toddlers and young kids love to help and have jobs that make them feel like the big kids.

These jobs or tasks are on their level and easy to understand or turn into a game:

  • Pick up toys around the house so they aren’t tripping hazards.
  • Secure bicycles and other outside toys.
  • Learn how to lock deadbolt locks.
  • Turn emergency evacuation practice into a game.
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Prevent drowning

Drowning is one of the leading causes death for kids from one to fourteen years old.1 Teach your young children to only go to the pool or run a bath when a grownup is with them. Use these tips to prevent drowning around pools and lakes.

At this age, children respond to repetition and reinforcement. Regularly talk about rules that keep them safe:

  • Knives, scissors, and other kitchen utensils are off-limits without an adult.
  • Matches and lighters should be used only by an adult.
  • Answer the door or phone only if you can see an adult in the room.
  • Walk slowly in bathrooms, pool areas, and other wet, slippery places.
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Cooking together to teach kitchen safety

The kitchen can be a great place to bond with young kids and reinforce practical applications of safety rules. Our guide to kitchen safety has lots of tips and suggestions for getting them involved in meal prep and cooking.

Older children

Smartphones and social media have changed the game for parents of adolescents and tweens. Help them create safe habits and prevent cyberbullying by setting some ground rules. It's not enough to set the rules and wait for them to make a mistake, though. Parents should have ongoing discussions about what their kids are doing online, who they're talking to, and what could lead to danger.

A few don'ts for adolescents to follow online:

  • Don't divulge personal information on social media sites or in chat rooms.
  • Don't post family vacation plans on social media.
  • Don't post vacation photos online until you and your family return from the trip.
  • Don't advertise when anyone is home alone or when parents are out for the evening.

Kids at this age are also capable of more complicated tasks in response to emergencies. Team them how to

  • Solve problems around the house, like how to douse a grease fire in the kitchen and use a fire extinguisher.
  • Turn off the water main, gas, and the main power to the house.
  • Arm and disarm the home security system.
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Staying safe online

Kids are online for school, fun, and to socialize. While it's not a new challenge for parents, it does keep changing. Our kids internet safety and our internet safety guide for teens can help you keep your kids safe.

Teenagers

In addition to all of the above information, you can add some home safety responsibility to the lives of your teenagers. Teens can be responsible for arming and disarming home security systems, including using smartphone and tablet apps provided by most home security companies. Teens can also be helpful with teaching, instructing, and encouraging the younger children in your home to be as safe as they can, and to think of security issues as often as possible.

Around the house, teens can be involved in the installation of a DIY home security system, if that’s what you decide to go with. Or, if you opt for a professionally monitored service, you can have them be present when it’s installed so they learn about potential security weaknesses, like ground-level windows, unsecured garage doors, and dark areas that need motion sensor lights on your property.

No matter what age category your children fall into, they can play an active role in keeping your home secure. 

Sources

CDC, "Drowning Prevention." Accessed May 27, 2020.

Katherine Torres
Written by
Katherine Torres
Katherine has had several years of experience developing and executing multichannel marketing campaigns, but actually started her career path in journalism. Though she switched gears, she continues to be driven by the need to deliver information that can be helpful for individuals. As an owner of two rescue dogs, she is most interested in technology and products that allow her to keep a close eye on her pets when she’s away.

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