As your toddler begins to explore the world around them and become more independent, it’s vital to teach them about safety in a way that doesn’t scare them.
With each year that passes, your toddler is getting older — they’re hitting development milestones and seeking independence. This might even be a time when you begin thinking about daycare or preschool. It’s hard to loosen the reigns and allow our children to be independent, but in this period of toddler development, exploration in addition to many other skills are at an all-time high. So, how do you keep them safe?
At the Community Education Research Group in DC, we have three different locations — Good Hope Road, Antioch, and Minnesota Ave. — that supports children whether it be through daycare, preschool, or early childhood education. Join us in today’s post as we examine teaching your toddler about safety.
Keeping Your Toddler Safe (When You’re Not Around)
As a parent or caregiver, you have spent thus far keeping your child safe at home by plugging electrical outlets, minimizing sharp corners and edges, and wearing a bike helmet when going for a ride. But, as they grow and learn that life exists outside the home, it’s important to teach them safety strategies when you’re not around. Let’s dive into them below.
Talking To Strangers
It’s important to talk to kids about strangers in a calm way that doesn’t scare them or create anxiety. When of the best ways to protect your toddler is not focusing so much on the danger, but rather stranger safety. Emphasize and reiterate the following:
- People are good, and most strangers are good.
- A stranger is someone you just don’t know and can be anyone — adult, kid, or animal!
- It’s important to always check in with the adult in charge before letting another stranger talk, get close, or give you something.
- Do not give out personal information to strangers
- Talk about following your gut or intuition
- Make a safety plan for when you go out
- Practice and model how to talk to strangers
- Teach them about body autonomy
One-third of homes have guns, and according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadephia Research Institute, roughly 1.7 million are exposed to environments with unlocked and loaded guns, so even if your home doesn’t have one, there is a good chance they’ll have friends with a family who does.
It’s important to reiterate the difference between play weapons, weapons seen in video games, and the real ones. Encourage and echo the following gun safety (adapted from the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe® Program) behavior including:
- Stop! – If you see a gun stop and remember the gun safety lesson. This gives them a moment to pause and recall what they’ve been taught.
- Do not touch – Explain that if they ever see a gun to leave it alone and do not it touch.
- Run away – Tell them to run away so they don’t touch it or are tempted to try and play with it.
- Inform an adult – If they find a gun, tell them to tell a trusted adult.
Teaching your child about stranger safety and gun safety is only the beginning of creating a well-informed child — stay tuned for part two!
To learn more about our preschool or affordable daycare in DC, reach out today!