There are so many dangers for kids – a parent’s job to keep them safe isn’t a small one! But as your children grow and learn, it’s essential to teach them must-have safety rules for kids so they can learn to keep themselves safe.
Childhood is the time when you discover all the wonders of the world but there are also plenty of dangers you need to navigate through.
The safety of children can be a terrifying thought for parents since there are so many things we need to consider.
Unfortunately, it’s not enough for parents themselves to be careful. Kids continuously gain independence and will at some point go to kindergarten, grade school, sports, activities, and more.
You won’t be able to be near your child at all times and offer your protection. That’s why teaching safety rules for kids is a must.
Prepare yourself to constantly repeat them so your child can actually rely on them when needed! 🙂
After keeping tiny humans alive for many years now, I’ve learned many safety tips for kids that every parent needs to know. Now I’m sharing them with you.
Two big goals of every parent are to keep them safe and teach them how to keep themselves safe. With these safety tips for kids, you’ll be able to do that!
What Does It Mean To Have Kid Safety Rules?
Having kid safety rules is a pretty basic concept. It’s your duty as a parent to teach them how to avoid unnecessary dangers and situations.
It may sound simple. But as every parent knows, there are so many things and scenarios that can threaten their well-being.
You can’t be there every single second like a bubble keeping them from harm. But you have to teach them how to keep themselves from harm. That’s where these safety rules for kids come into play.
Why Is It Important To Teach Your Kids About All Different Types of Safety?
Life is complicated for adults, let alone for kids. From simple things like crossing the street to more delicate situations like dealing with strangers, we can’t expect children to intuitively know how to keep themselves safe.
We have to teach them step-by-step, and safety is definitely not a part you want to ignore.
Fire, Home, & Electrical Child Safety Guidelines
Home is the place we spend most of our time with the family. That makes it the #1 place kids should learn to behave safely.
Babies and toddlers require your constant supervision, but as children grow older, be prepared to have talks about fire, home, and electrical safety guidelines.
Discuss a Family Escape Route
Having a family escape route can do wonders for your peace of mind. It may seem really easy to leave the house when there’s nothing special happening. But what would you do if there’s a fire and the exit you planned on using is blocked?
It’s a good idea to draw a plan of the house and mark all the exits so your children can use this knowledge during a critical situation.
Teach About Smoke Detectors
Smoke alarms are your best friend when it comes to detecting a fire in your home. That’s why you will also need to teach your kids to pay attention to the alarm sound and follow the escape route you set up as soon as they hear it.
You can even turn this drill into a fun game and offer small rewards!
Never Play With Plug Sockets
Not placing fingers or objects into a power outlet should be one of the top safety rules for electricity in your home.
As careful as you may be while you’re with the kids they are bound to be alone at some point, maybe even in someone else’s home so they need to know this.
Establish Basic Electrical Safety Rules For Kids
The modern home is full of power cords and electrical appliances which may spark the interest of curious children. The safe way to go about it is to show these yourself and explain how they work and what shouldn’t be done.
For example, children need to learn it is dangerous for water to reach electricals, broken wires shouldn’t be touched, a plug should be turned off before being removed, and warning signs shouldn’t be ignored, among other things.
Use Online Games And Guides To Teach Electricity
It may take a while for children to understand how electricity works and the dangers it poses.
The fun way is always the best way to learn so don’t be afraid to use online games and guides for this purpose. Switched On Kids is a great site that teaches children about electricity in the most entertaining ways so I’m sure your family will enjoy using it!
Pool & Backyard Safety Rules for Kids
Playing in the water is a joy for most kids and you definitely don’t want to take that away from them. Enjoying pool time can be done safely as long as you explain some basic water safety rules to your little ones.
Stay Away From Drains & Filters
Pool drains will keep the water clean but the suction they use can be dangerous for anyone who gets too close, not just kids. The suction pressure is so high, it can pull in jewelry, hair, fingers, and other body parts.
Public pools are subjected to regulations that require them to include anti-entrapment covers but they are installed in many ways so make sure your children stay away from pool drains regardless.
Have a Buddy
Swimming alone is something you shouldn’t allow your kids to do and they need to know that too. Whether they are with you, or another person you trust, your children will definitely be safer and you will have peace of mind.
Stay in Shallow End
Younger children and even older ones who still don’t know how to swim should always stay in the shallow end. Speaking of, if your water-loving child swims well enough to perform jumps, make it a rule so it’s always in the deeper area of the pool to avoid accidents.
Sometimes the dangers your kids can get exposed to are less obvious, such as the sun. When used sparingly it can be your best friend to get essential Vitamin D, but too much of it and you are at an increased risk of premature skin aging and even cancer.
Be sure to use one of the best sunscreens for kids and take regular breaks in the shade throughout the warm season.
No Running Near The Pool
The edge around the pool is usually wet when kids play around and can become quite slippery. It can be difficult to keep the children still when they’re so close to the water so turn it into a family rule!
Gun Safety Rules for Children
While having guns in homes with kids is not recommended sometimes it is needed. Even if you have a gun-free home, some of your friends or relatives may be gun owners.
This means you still need to teach your children gun safety. Even more, parents also have their own gun safety rules they should follow. I strongly recommend using a quality gun safe for storing your guns!
Do Not Touch
The first thing you need to explain to your kids is that guns are not toys! Tell them the effects of using a gun can have and that it should never be touched for safety reasons.
Movies, video games, social media, and even many toys encourage pretend gun violence which may leave kids confused when faced with the real thing. That’s why you should discuss the difference between a real gun, and the ones they play with or see on TV.
Have The “Gun talk”
As your kids grow older you’ll be able to better explain gun safety. On top of that, it’s a good idea to tell your children why your family has weapons and they are locked away. Being honest will help the kids understand the situation and ease their curiosity.
Make A Plan
Despite all your hard effort, it can still happen that your child will come across a gun. The simplest solution is to discuss this situation with him.
He should always assume the gun is loaded and dangerous. Be sure to explain why he shouldn’t touch the gun. Most gun accidents happen with no intent to actually harm someone.
If he sees a gun, he should leave the area immediately and tell an adult right away.
Child Safety Guidelines for Food and the Kitchen
Whether they come for a simple snack or your little helpers want to cook with you, you will need to set in place safety rules for handling the food and items in the kitchen.
Wash Your Hands
Cooking with clean hands is obvious for adults but not necessarily for children. Discuss the importance of hygiene in the kitchen and show them the proper way of washing hands.
Never Cook Without An Adult Present
Some children actually enjoy cooking and you should totally let them do it. Nevertheless, be sure to have a trustworthy adult supervising them each time.
Teach Them The Basics
The best way to teach your kids kitchen safety is to assume they know nothing because it’s true!
So yes, they need to know that:
- aluminum and metal can burn when placed in a microwave
- hot items should be handled using a potholder or towel
- they can’t add water in a pan with hot oil
- plastic can’t be used in the oven or the stovetop
Preventing accidents in the kitchen starts with knowledge so don’t be afraid to share it with your children.
Deal With Spills And Messes Right Away
Let your children know that it’s really easy to slip when there’s spillage in the kitchen which is why they should clean it on the spot.
One of the most important things your little ones need to learn is handling raw meat. Let them know they should always wash their hands after touching raw meat as well as all the utensils and surfaces that came into contact with it.
Bike, Road, & Street Safety Rules for Kids
Even if your kids never go out without an adult present, you probably don’t plan to hold their hand throughout their entire childhood.
Your best bet to keep them safe is to make sure they learn how to behave while riding a bike and walking on or crossing a street. This is even more important if you live in a high-traffic area!
Look Both Ways
Looking both ways is one of the most common-sense rules you should teach your little ones when crossing the street. Yes, even if it’s a one-way street! If they’re biking, they should always walk the bike across the street, not ride it.
Ride With Traffic
Besides the fact that riding against traffic is illegal in many states, it’s also very dangerous. Your kids need to be taught they should always go with the flow when riding a bike, not against it.
Obey All Traffic Rules
It doesn’t matter if you’re a driver, a cyclist, or a pedestrian. We all must follow traffic rules, including signs, signals, and lane markings.
Whether walking or biking on the side of the road, kids should know that moving in erratic patterns can confuse drivers and even cause accidents. The best way to move is in a straight line and if you need to go around, signal the drivers.
Internet Safety Rules for Kids
As scary as the real world may be, the online ecosystem can be more dangerous at times.
It’s always a good idea to limit the time kids spend in front of devices but you can’t forbid it completely. We live in a technology-driven era, and since the pandemic started children are spending even more time online, as many classes are held over the Internet.
Kids need to know how to behave online even if there are good antivirus and parental controls set in place. These tools are great to have but they are not enough when it comes to keeping your child safe online.
Don’t Share Personal Information
Privacy is probably the touchiest subject when it comes to online safety for kids.
Teach them to never share personal information like name, age, sex, phone number, and so on. They should always consult a parent when asked for any private details.
Don’t Meet Someone In Person That You Met Online
The Internet can be deceiving, and your children must be taught to not trust everything they see online. Sometimes predators posing as innocent people will try to get to know young kids and even meet them face-to-face.
It may not always be the case so tell your kids to always ask for your approval and never go to such a meeting without you or your spouse present.
Cell Phone Safety Rules For Kids
It’s nice to know you can call or text your child wherever he is, but as great as smartphones are, there are still some major dangers associated with cell phones.
Kids should know to never give their phone number to someone they don’t know very well and to not answer calls from unknown numbers (if it’s important they can just send a text later).
When it comes to online security your best bet as a parent is to install a monitoring app. These apps will help you set up parental controls, limit screen time, and they are great at detecting inappropriate content, as well as unsafe sites and apps.
I have tried several different options myself. After experimenting, I now personally use both of the options below to get detailed daily reports of my boys’ activities so they stay safe.
- Qustodio (get 10% cash back with your Rakuten account – and get $10 just for signing up!)
- FamiSafe (save 10% with link)
For a free option, you can try Google Family Link. It’s a versatile monitoring app that enables you to remotely control screen time and app downloads, view their activity, and even includes teacher-approved app recommendations. And I love it 🙂
NOTE: Since Google Family Link is android-based, I’m not sure how well it works on iPhones.
Stranger Safety Rules for Kids
Predators abound both online and in the real world, and they can be literally anywhere. At the playground, in the supermarket, or even at school or church.
As parents, it’s our duty to teach children how to deal with strangers, but not in a way that would frighten them. No one wants a child that’s too terrified to speak with anyone, right?
Don’t Go Anywhere Alone
Older kids may be tempted to test their newfound independence so it’s best you tackle this problem early. Playdates, trips to the park, and other activities taking place outside the home should be encouraged, but not without a trustworthy adult present.
Tell your kids you will take them where they want to go, but they should never go anywhere alone and without consulting a parent first.
Don’t Take Shortcuts
More often than not, alleyways and other shortcuts are poorly lit and there are no people around. These are perfect locations for lurking trouble for a child.
Be sure to tell your kids to walk on known public routes that are well-lit to avoid running into a suspicious stranger.
Trust Your “Gut”
If they meet someone who seems shady and gives them the creeps they should immediately get out of their presence.
Kids should also know it’s ok to scream or ask for help from passersby if someone tries to grab them or makes them feel uncomfortable.
Never Get In A Car With A Stranger
Children shouldn’t accept anything from a stranger, and they shouldn’t go for a ride with them either. If they are approached by a car, tell them to immediately go inside a safe place and ignore the request.
If someone else needs to pick your kid up, you can call your child and let him know directly or set up a special code word so they know it’s okay to get in the car with that person.
Keep Valuables Out Of Sight
Older kids who use public transportation or walk to school must be taught to keep devices and other valuables out of sight, to avoid attracting unwanted attention, such as from pickpockets.
Body Safety Rules for Children
Expect teaching body safety to your kids to be an ongoing effort. One big talk is not a solution, since you will have to start explaining basic concepts from a very young age.
Use The Correct Name for Body Parts
Starting with the age of 1, you can begin to teach your child the name of each body part. You can also explain that anything covered by a bathing suit or underwear is “private.”
Should someone touch them in a private area, they will know to tell you the proper name.
The book The Swimsuit Lesson by Jon Holsten (a former police officer) is a hugely helpful resource for teaching safety rules for kids in this area!
Make Sure Your Child Understands What’s Private
Kids should be taught which areas of their bodies are private and should not be touched by anyone except their parents. Tell them to let you know right away if anyone attempts to touch their private parts.
Safe Vs. Unsafe
Many parents talk to their kids about “good” and “bad” touching. But I recommend using the words “safe” and “unsafe” instead. This will avoid toddlers and young kids, in general, to be forced to make moral differentiation between the kinds of touching which can lead to feelings of guilt.
Be sure to explain that unsafe touching is not just about private parts. It can also be pushing, hitting, kicking, and even something seemingly harmless like tickling. Your child needs to understand that any touch is “unsafe” if they don’t enjoy it and continues even if they ask the person to stop.
Most culprits prey on kids’ feelings and ask them to keep their relationship a secret. The reason is that if the parents find out, they won’t be allowed to hang out together anymore.
Encourage your child to tell you about any interaction that makes him feel uncomfortable in any way. That applies just as much with someone you know as a total stranger!
Other General Safety Rules for Kids
The dangers our children can face are sometimes unexpected. Explain to your kids they should always trust their gut if something feels wrong.
If they are asked to do something they are unsure of, they should simply refuse, even if everyone else seems excited to try it.
Staying Home Alone Safety Rules For Kids
For many parents, leaving their kids alone is a scary thought! The modern world is pretty dangerous and doing this can make you feel stressed the whole time you are away.
Nevertheless, there comes a time when leaving your child alone at home, even if it’s just for an hour, makes a great exercise for creating an independent adult.
There is no specific age at which kids should be left home alone. Most states just give general guidelines around this topic. If you worked hard teaching your child safety rules for all the topics discussed above, and he actually knows them, it’s probably a good time to practice staying home alone.
On the other hand, if you are unsure, I recommend preparing your kids for staying home alone. Obviously, it’s not a good idea to leave them home alone for long periods right away. Start small and work your way up over time.
For the first attempts, 30-60 minutes is plenty. Remember, this is a big step for your kids too – not just for you!
Last but not least, it’s a good idea to implement a clear set of stay home alone rules. This will make it easier for your child to know how to react in certain situations, especially the first few times.
Halloween Safety Rules
Halloween is a time of amazing fun for all children! They get to wear silly costumes, walk around the neighborhood and speak to other kids. And if all of that wasn’t enough, they get tons of candy and sweets too!
Sadly, the costume part can be used by predators to keep their identity hidden while trying to engage with kids. Until they are old enough to go trick-or-treating alone, you or another trustworthy adult should be with them at all times.
Halloween safety rules for kids shouldn’t be ignored, even if your kids are teens and capable of going alone. Always set up a route they will follow and make sure they go in a group. Obviously, they should already be familiar with all the other pedestrian and stranger safety rules.
Must-Have Safety Rules For Kids Conclusion
There are so many important safety rules to teach kids, it can be very overwhelming. Be sure to use this guide next time you need to have a safety talk with your children and make your life as a parent a little bit easier.
The good news is, your efforts will be rewarded! Teaching your kiddos all these safety rules will help them navigate through life safely and not just during their childhood. These basic safety rules for kids will definitely help them become independent and responsible adults as well.
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