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Keeping a Happy, Healthy Home: General Safety Rules for Your Family

Teaching your family to be safe is one of the most important responsibilities that comes with parenthood. Kids will inevitably fall down, crash and tumble leading to injury. But you as a parent can teach your children safety rules that will keep them protected in more dangerous situations. Here are some of the most important safety rules you can teach your children and rules that you should follow yourself:

Water Safety

Teach Your Family:

  • Never jump in a body of water unsupervised, no matter how shallow it is.
  • Always use a life jacket when you’re swimming or in a boat.

For You:

  • If you have a pool or pond on your property, install a fence and strong lock around the body of water. Make sure you are always supervising children when they are outside near the water and when they are swimming.
  • Always stay with your children during bathtime, even a small amount of water in the tub can be dangerous.

Fire Safety

Teach Your Family:

  • Playing with matches, lighters or any type of fire is never okay. It’s not a toy. If you find a lighter or matches, give them to an adult right away.
  • If you see a fire somewhere you don’t think it should be, tell an adult right away.
  • If you are near a fire in a fireplace or a campfire, don’t stand too close to it. Fire can cause serious injuries.

For You:

  • Talk with your family about a fire safety plan for your household. Draw out a map of where safe exits are and where fire extinguishers are stored. Practice with your family what to do and where to go if there is a fire at home. Practice the plan often so your children don’t forget.
  • Install smoke alarms in all bedrooms and near the kitchen in your home. Make sure to keep the batteries updated.

Household Safety

Teach Your Family:

  • Know your home address and parent’s phone numbers. Never share this information with anyone unless it’s an emergency situation.

For You:

  • Store dangerous chemicals, medicine, and vitamins in a lockable cabinet or high shelf where children cannot reach.
  • Keep blind cords tied up. They can be a strangling hazard for young kids.
  • Store firearms in a safe, locked place where children or invaders cannot access them.

Car Safety

Teach Your Family:

  • Always buckle up when you’re in a vehicle. Don’t remove your seatbelt until the vehicle has stopped moving and is turned off.
  • Never stick your hands or arms out of a moving vehicle.
  • When you are crossing a street, always look both ways before crossing. Always use a crosswalk when crossing a street.

For You:

  • Be an example to your family of the importance of buckling up. Children learn by observing what their parents do. If you show them by example that wearing a seatbelt is important, they will learn the same.
  • Always have your child sit in the proper seat for their age and weight. Whether it’s a car, seat or booster seat, it matters. Check out the safety requirements per your state for specifics.
  • If your car has automatic opening doors, make sure your child’s seat is far enough away that they can’t press the button. Teach them never to play with the button or press it while the car is moving.
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Stranger Safety

Teach Your Family:

  • Don’t accept food or anything offered by a stranger. You can politely decline, but you never have to take anything from anyone you don’t know.
  • Never go anywhere with a stranger, whether on foot or in a car, even if they tell you that mom or dad said its okay. If you don’t know the person, don’t go anywhere with them.
  • No one is allowed to touch any part of your body without your permission. If someone tries, say no. If they keep trying, yell and draw attention to them. Tell an adult right away.

For You:

  • Teach your child to be confident in saying no when they feel uncomfortable or if someone they don’t know is trying to force them to do something. Teach them to be polite but also know when to yell or scream to draw attention.
  • If you have to send someone else to pick up your child from daycare or school, make sure that it is someone they are familiar with and that you have let the school or daycare know ahead of time.

General Safety

Teach Your Family:

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  • Be careful when jumping from high places. Make sure there is always somewhere soft to land, otherwise just don’t do it.
  • If you’re leaving the yard of your home, don’t go alone. Always follow the buddy rule when going places.
  • If you get lost, or can’t find mom or dad, stay where you are.

For You:

  • Always make sure your family has good health insurance. Medical expenses without insurance are steep and account for 62% of all personal bankruptcies.
  • While you’ve taught your child to be careful jumping from high places, be careful yourself as well. If you are seriously injured you won’t be able to care for your child like you want to. Of people that have serious slips or falls, 22% of those end up needing more than a month away from work.
  • Teach your child confidence, both to say no and to be social. According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), almost 100% of adults believe that a healthy smile is socially important.

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