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How to Teach Your Children Safe Habits at an Early Age

Most parents would likely agree that it’s important to raise a conscientious child who has been taught proper, safe habits. However, raising a careful child can be a difficult task because overdoing the safety lectures can make a child anxious, suspicious and fearful. There are method parents can use to teach their child safety without scare tactics.

Use Detailed Language Concerning Touching

Instead of telling your child that no one is allowed to touch them, explain exactly what bad touching is and what areas of the body are involved. Explain that the areas covered by their bathing suit are off-limits to everyone but doctors and the child’s parents and caregivers. Give your child the necessary vocabulary to name all of their body parts and encourage them to tell you right away if any touching they experienced makes them feel bad.

Make Hand-Washing a Priority

Children are always going to get sick, but you can encourage proper hygiene by instilling a routine early in the child’s life. If they are too short to reach the sink, provide a stepstool or a tub of baby wipes. Wash or wipe their hands upon entering the house, after bathroom visits and before eating. Do not allow your child to suck their thumb or bite their fingernails, as this transfers bacteria and viruses right into their mouth. Provide sugarless gum for older kids who have outgrown their pacifier.

Teach Your Child to Report Problems

Some children are so afraid of upsetting a parent and being punished that they will hide broken items or injuries from you. For example, if he or she leaned on the baby gate and it splintered and sliced their hand. For instance, a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia knows that injuries can be sustained when a product fails unexpectedly. Product failures such as this should be reported to you so you can handle the issue, call a lawyer and replace the item. Tell your child they should never be afraid to tell you when something goes wrong.

Revise the ‘Stranger Danger’ Speech

Some children, especially those raised in a rural or sheltered environment, take stranger danger to literal extremes. Everyone they see suddenly becomes a potential kidnapper or molester. If your child is ever lost and afraid, he or she may actively hide from ‘strangers’ such as police officers, firefighters, EMS and even other parents who are assisting the search. Talk about what kinds of strangers are okay to talk to and where they can be found. Approaching a woman with her own children is the safest bet, if no police officers are nearby.

Raising a child to have safe habits but not be frightened of the world can be a tall order. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to better explain safety rules to your child.

Tim Esterdahl

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