Fire safety is a topic that is too lightly covered, imho. The schools do fire drills and some schools will have firefighters come in and talk about safety but not enough is being done to teach kids what to do in a real emergency.
Here are some great ideas for promoting fire safety with children:
- Find a local fire department that has access to a smoke trailer. This is an amazing experience for any kid. They can sit inside this trailer as it fill with “smoke.” They will see first hand how hard it is to see, what to do, and what firemen look like in their gear.
- Teach older kids what to do in case of a fire when they are cooking. Do you have a kitchen fire extinguisher that you want they to use? These skills are not going to be taught by anyone else then you, so make sure they know how to deal with things like a grease fire.
- Have the little ones play online at Sparky.org where they can learn while they interact with fund cartoons characters.
- Develop a REAL home fire plan and practice it. I know it sounds silly but actually set your spoke detectors off in the middle of the night to see what the kids would do. Have them drill and drill and drill until it become second nature. Think about how many times you have told your kids about “stranger danger”….why not the same thing with fire safety.
- Post emergency numbers in an obvious place. We have a magnetic white board on the fridge with emergency numbers including the home number and address for when they call 911.
- In case of fire: teach kids DON’T HIDE, GO OUTSIDE! Kids need to know that fires are scary, but they should NEVER hide in closets or under beds when there is a fire.
- Keep it simple. Children learn when the rules are straight forward and easy to remember. STOP, DROP, and ROLL….and WHERE the meeting place is!
- Use teachable moments. Reinforce your discussions about fire safety whenever the topic arises — for example, when there is a fire in the news or in a book, or when you see a fire, ask your children what they would do if they were in that situation. Or, like me, when you accidentally set a napkin on fire when passing it across the table!
- Teach the little ones how to break open a window if needed. If you have elementary school kids sharing a room and they have no way out, make sure they know how to get out in an emergency.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Likewise….here are some other safety tips.
Child Safety Tips: 10 Things You Can Do In 10 Minutes Or Less To Make Your Home Safer
by Ken Levinson on September 24, 2010
These child safety tips can all make your home safer in 10 minutes or less.
Okay, parents, I hope you’re wearing running shoes because you’re about to get a child safety themed workout.
I’ve compiled a minute by minute workout schedule that will turn you into a lean, mean, child injury prevention machine. You should be able to do execute each of these child safety tips in 10 minutes or less…
On your mark. Get set. Go!
1. Child Chemical Safety
Let’s start out in the kitchen. Look around to make sure all household chemicals are not accessible to children.
You might not realize it, but to children, these chemicals look similar to their favorite fruit drinks, so your child might not understand that blue window cleaner isn’t blue-raspberry Kool-aid. To prevent a case of mistaken identity, put hazardous materials on higher shelves, not close to your food, of course.
If you can’t store your cleaning products anywhere else but near floor level, lock your cupboard doors tight with a child proof lock.
2. Child Climbing Safety
While you’re still in the kitchen, start looking for opportunities your child might have to climb to unsafe heights. Reposition any climbable pieces of furniture to deter children from using them as ladders to your kitchen counter.
Your kids probably love sweets so keep those goodies in a locked pantry or in a locked shelf lower than counter height. That way your kids don’t have to climb anything to find out they don’t have access to their tasty temptations.
3. Child Hot Water Safety
Still with me? If so, you’re doing great! But now it’s time for a bit of a run.
Head to your basement or wherever your hot water heater is located. Read the temperature setting. If your hot water heater is set to anything above 120-125 degrees fahrenheit or above medium, it’s too hot.
According to the National Ag Safety Database, it only takes takes two seconds for a child to receive third degree burns from water at 150 degrees, five seconds if the water is at 140 degrees and 30 seconds at 130 degrees.
Turning the water heater down to a proper setting should be easy to do, but if you can’t figure it out, call a trusted friend or plumber.
4. Child Sharp Object Safety
While you’re in the basement, grab an empty bottle of laundry detergent, tear the labels off and write “SHARPS” or “DANGER” on both sides.
You now have your own container for proper disposal of sharp objects.
Whatever it may be, sewing needles, thumb tacks, nails, if you don’t have a place for it, put it in the sharps container. This is a method medical professionals use to dispose of hazardous sharp objects, so it’s child safety expert and doctor approved.
Store the sharps container in a secure, child safe location and get ready to move!
5. Child Electrical Safety
It’s time for an electrical outlet check.
Head back up the stairs and through your house to each individual outlet to make sure they all have child proof covers.
Children are more likely to tamper with your electrical outlets than you might think. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association estimates that an average of seven children per day are treated in emergency rooms for injuries due to electrical outlet contact.
Child safety covers prevent unnecessary child injury by keeping kids from sticking their fingers and metallic objects in electrical outlets. Until your children are old enough to know better, keep all the outlets in your home covered.
6. Child Suffocation Safety
Did you see any plastic bags lying out in the open during your last lap around the house? If you did and you didn’t pick them up, well, looks like it’s another lap for you.
Kids who like to play make believe can see colorful, plastic grocery bags as masks that can turn them into astronauts and monsters, but these bags can easily suffocate your child.
Gather all your plastic bags together and store them in a safe, secure place like the now locked cabinet you keep your household chemicals in.
7. Child Shelf Safety
If you are one of those reading types who hasn’t replaced their paperbacks and hardcovers with e-books, there are probably bookshelves around your house.
Although your children may be learning to read, they see bookshelves more as ladders than “knowledge storage devices.” The CPSC estimates that in 2006, more than 16,000 children five years old and younger were treated in emergency rooms due to furniture and appliance tipovers.
Secure bookshelves, and all other shelving units in your home, to walls so there is no chance of them falling over when your child decides he’s the next Indiana Jones.
8. Child Padding Safety
Alright, now do another lap around your house, this time looking for sharp corners and edges on furniture and walls.
More than likely, there are more edges and corners that could use padding than you can do in under ten minutes, but make a note of their locations.
There are a number of different manufacturers who specialize in making child safe edging for furniture and walls. If you don’t want to pay $15 a foot, though, use foam pipe edging and clear tape. It works just as well at a fraction of the cost.
9. Child Window Safety
Windows always spell trouble for children.
Windows with blinds usually mean low hanging cords that kids like to play with. These cords are choking hazards so secure them at a higher altitude by coiling them up with a rubber band or piece of string.
Push all chairs and other pieces of climbable furniture away from windows so that children have less access to them.
And if you like keeping your windows open and haven’t invested in some child safe window guards, you need to install them soon.
10. Child Refrigerator Safety
It’s the home stretch! Get to your refrigerator.
If you have small magnets on the fridge, either take them off or move them higher and out of reach. Your child can easily pluck the magnets off the fridge and put them in their mouths.
Also, open your refrigerator door and determine if the seal is strong enough to keep a child from opening it. If it’s not, add a latch system to the door for extra security.
I ended the workout in front of your refrigerator on purpose. Open it up and grab something cold to drink or stick your head in the freezer to cool off.
You’re looking buff and now your home is now child safety expert approved.
Have anything you’d like to add? Leave a comment and let me know.
- Your Home Safety Checklist (everydayhealth.com)
- The Safest Parent (thesafestline.com)
- Escape Plan Obstacle Course for Preschool: Fire Safety Activities (brighthub.com)