Teaching kids about home safety should begin as early as possible.
With today’s fast-paced world and technology making our lives so transparent, it is crucial our kids are constantly reminded about the importance of home safety. Having a home security system provides some peace of mind for your family. But just because you know how to use it, doesn’t necessarily mean your children will.
The best way to teach your children about home safety is through fun and engaging activities. Positive reinforcement and hands on experience are known to have a strong impact on their retention of information.
Here are some helpful tools to teach your kids everything they need to know about home safety.
It is important to have frequent discussions with your family about security at home. Set some time aside every few weeks to go over some of the basic security tips, such as closing all windows and locking all doors. It’s also a great time to discuss plans of action, in case different emergencies arise.
Another great idea is to hold safety weekends every few months, to go over different safety aspects. Spend a few hours on the weekend running through mock situations that you can act out with your children.
I discuss a few great ideas of mock situations later in this article.
What may seem like something so simple to you, can be completely forgotten by your children. Locking up is crucially important to keep your home safe, so make sure you reinforce this with your children. Even if you are always at home when your children are, it is important to teach this early, as it needs to stick in their minds for when they are older.
A simple yet super effective home security tool to stop intruders is deadbolt locks. Make sure you teach your children how to use deadbolt locks so they can secure them correctly, and also escape quickly from the house if they need to.
It is also important for your child to know the PIN for your security system, make sure you reinforce how important this is to keep secret. Your kids should know what to do when the alarm goes off, and how to reset it.
Role playing is a great interactive way to teach children about home security. Tell your kids you want to play a game and test their reaction when you ask them a few of the following questions:
- Mum and Dad aren’t home and someone knocked on the door. What would you do?
- You’re about to leave the house, what should you do as you leave?
- You wake up to the security alarm going off, what’s the first thing you do?
These are just a few examples of questions you should ask. Add some more questions to the list to suit situations you may come across in your family.
If they are unsure of the correct answer or answer incorrectly, gently guide them and teach them the right way. Step them through why your answers are the best way to keep them safe at home.
Fire drill game
This is a great game to play in the case there is a fire in your house. It will teach your children the best way to escape, depending on where they are in the house at the time. It is important to first explain to your kids what fire alarms are, what noise they make and what to do if they hear them.
The number one goal is for your kids to make it out of your house safely. Explain they must leave all their belongings behind and that if their toys and clothes do get lost in the fire, you can replace them. Teach them about cleaning up their toys, as their toys can become trip hazards in the unfortunate situation that a fire occurs.
A great idea is to set a time limit and see if everyone can make it out of the house safely in that time. Then every few months you can try again and see if you can beat the time. This will give you a great opportunity to assure the information you gave your children sticks in their brain.
Go on an excursion
Kids love excursions! Take your children around the local area so they know where they can go in an emergency. Show them where the closest safe houses are, school, hospital, fire station and police station are located. Giving your children a better understanding of the local area can also help them feel safer at home.
Mock safety inspection
Children love to dress up and pretend. This is a great game to make learning and understanding the importance of home safety fun. Dress your kids up in Inspector outfits and give them a clip board and pen. Then, while they have their eyes closed and are counting, the adults run around the house and make the house look a little more unsafe such as unlocking doors, putting toys over the floor and opening windows.
Then go back to the kids and let them open their eyes. Their job is to now walk around and inspect why the house is unsafe. If they are unable to find all the problems, hint them in the right direction. At the end, view their lists and go through why each of the points they wrote down are so important.
As all parents know, online security is more important than ever.
Make sure your children understand they should never reveal confidential information, such as your address. They should also never reveal if they are home alone. Some great resources on teaching your children online safety at all ages can be found here.
Home security is something you must teach your children on a regular basis. As their brains are constantly developing, it is important to start young and teach more critical information as they grow. With social media and websites so public and easily viewable, it’s important to assure your house security is your number one priority.
These are great games to get the kids thinking! What are your favourites?