To keep your child safe, firstly teach your child how to do things safely. When you teach them something new, like crossing the road, gradually let them take over. So next time you cross the road talk them through what you’re doing.
- Tell them everything you are looking out for.
- Do it together and let them do certain bits on their own, until they’ve practiced all the skills they need to cross the road safely.
- Then let them cross the road and take you safely across,and tell you everything they’re doing. Without you saying anything.
And finally you should be confident to let them do it on their own.
And you can use that technique for lots of different skills.
Secondly, talk about safety issues. Even if they scare your child a little. Keep it upbeat and at your child’s level, but check out the ‘NSPCC underwear rule’ together.Talk to your child about what to do in an emergency.And make sure they know the rules about important things like when they’re allowed to answer the door.
And what personal details they’re never to tell people especially if they’re online.
Finally, ask them lots of the right questions. And fill them in on the answersif they don’t get it quite right.
Because if you ask questions they’re so much more likely to remember what to do.
- What’s the difference between medicines and sweets?
- When are you allowed to light a match?
- What would happen if a child your age drank a bottle of alcohol?
- What’s your home phone number? And where is a list of all the family’s numbers.
- What’s your address, and postcode?
- Which way do we need to go from here to get home?
- If someone asks you to keep a secret, what should you do? Who can you tell any secret to? And play the ‘What if’ game regularly. In the car, or while travelling.
- What would you do if a stranger asked you to help him find his lost dog in the woods?
- What would you do if a man drove up to you and said there’d been an emergency at home and he’d been asked to drive you home straight away?
- What would you do if your friend asked you to try one puff of a cigarette?
It would be good to make a note of these questions and write down lots of other questions to make sure your child knows how to keep themselves safe.
So the three tips to keep your child safe are:
- Teach your child how to do things safely.
- Talk about safety issues.
- And ask lots of the right questions.
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