When a baby comes into the world, she spends most of the time with the parents. In the beginning, keeping your kid safe is not that much tough, she is always in your hands, and spends most of the time in a cot or a rocker. But when the baby starts walking, things take a turn. She’ll start spending more time exploring a new world. Unfortunately, the world she’ll be exploring is a mixture of goods and bads. That is why we need to teach “Toddlers” about safety.
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This is the most sensitive age of the children, regarding their safety. They don’t have enough know-how of What’s right or wrong, but they start exploring everything. In the market, they can run within seconds while you just pick a bottle of juice from the fridge. Not to scare you, but I’m writing this to create awareness about how to keep them safe, and what to teach them so they can save their own selves.
Here are some guidelines about “What your toddler must learn”:
Important Information to Remember:
The memory of the children is very sharp. They are always ready to learn and memorize new things, but you have to find ways to get that thing into their interest area. Because if they are not interested, they will not even bother memorizing.
Make sure that your child memorize these important informations:
1- Names of the Family:
A child must memorize the name of the family especially the parents. This is not a lot to teach them, even a kid who can pronounce only a few words can memorize the name of the father or the mother. Usually, kids recognize the parents with the name of the relationship like “mommy and daddy” so you must make sure that they are also aware of the names.
When the child is able enough to talk properly, she should know the names of the parents and some immediate family members, like grandparents, uncles, and aunts.
2- Phone numbers:
Memorizing phone numbers is even more important than memorizing the names. At least one phone number of the family should be stored in the little brain. Make sure that the phone number your baby is memorizing is always available.
Make a poem of the name and number of the parent. Like “My father’s name is XYZ, his phone number is …….” Make a rhyme and make this fun for your toddler, so she can learn easily.
Let your child dial the number from your phone, it’s another good way to help her memorize the number.
This is the most vital element for toddlers safety.
3- Emergency Helpline number:
You must make sure that your child knows the emergency helpline and knows when she needs to dial that number.
Usually emergency helpline numbers are short all around the world and they are very easy to remember.
Train your child to dial the number in case. You can use a dummy phone to teach them.
4- Address or Street name:
A toddler is old enough to recognize her house, but you should make her learn the street name or any popular address around your house. For example, a famous cafe or store. Anything, which a toddler can memorize is great.
The main idea is to make her able to tell the address, just in case of any emergency.
5- Car number and color:
A toddler can memorize the color of the car so easily but you have to teach her the number of the car too. It can help them to reach out to you, in case, if they get lost in any mall or the parking. (if she recognizes the numbers)
Learning about “Alarming things”:
Train your toddler about how to behave in certain situations. Of course, you can’t just tell her. You’ll have to find fun ways to teach her.
1- Alarming words or sentences:
You can tell your child about if a person says to you “this”, just don’t go to him.
For example, tell your child, “If any person calls you and says, “come here! I’ll give you candy or chocolate, come to me” then never go to him! He will be a boogeyman.”
There are many other ways to teach the child. It varies from child to child. And a parent knows the psyche of the child.
Develop an understanding of your child’s behavior or reaction first and then teach them accordingly.
The other thing, you must teach your child, “if a person says, “ssshhh!! This is a secret between us and don’t tell your mommy or daddy.” then you must come to mommy immediately and tell.” Practice this at home. Father can say these words and see if the child comes to mommy and tell, or not.
As a parent, always beware and teach your children to take you in confidence ALWAYS.
You have to maintain your trust level in your child’s mind so that they don’t keep the small things confidential.
2- Alarming touches:
Another word for “bad touch“. Always teach your child about the safety of their body.
Toddlers must be young to understand many things, but they can also feel when something is not okay. Every living thing has a sixth sense which is “instincts”, so make them aware of their instincts.
Teach the toddler about their private parts and no one is allowed to touch them. Even mommy can’t touch except for bathing, washing, or changing a diaper.
Your toddler will immediately start learning, don’t worry.
3- Trusting Instincts:
Every human being has instincts that try to tell us when something is being wrong. The same is the case for toddlers, they can feel if something is not fine.
You have to teach your child that If he/she wants to say “No”, he/she should say it and don’t be afraid.
The training starts from home. You must respect your child’s “no”. It doesn’t mean that if he/she doesn’t want to change the diaper, you should respect their opinion. It means that when the child does not want to hug or kiss or he/she is getting uncomfortable with that “tickle tickle”, he/she says, “No”. Then you must respect their opinion.
Teach your child to pick up their instincts and follow.
In Case of Getting Lost:
Again, this article is not to scare you. I’m writing this to help you prepare your child for any sort of accident or make the child able to prevent any accident.
This is a common fact that toddlers can get lost. That’s because they are always curious about the outside world, they want to explore new things and they can run so fast.
First, as a parent, we should make sure that the child doesn’t get lost. Always ask him/her to stay with you, no matter what, don’t go anywhere without mommy or daddy.
Better to use this Anti-Lost Wrist Link, to prevent any accident.
But Just in case, you should also prepare your child for the emergency situation.
What if they get lost?
Where to go?, Whom to tell?, Whom to call?
These elements are so essential for the toddler’s safety.
1- Where to Go?
The first thing you have to tell the child, that where should they go, in case, if they can’t find their parents.
Usually, kids start to run all over the place to find mama and daddy, but it can actually make the situation worse.
You must teach your child, one of these 2 things:
Stay Where you are:
Just ask your child to stay on that place, where he just lost and don’t go anywhere. Stay there and mommy will come to find you.
Fix a place on every visit:
This is what my parents used to do, I remember, whenever we visited the part, my parents always fixed a place near the entrance and tell us that if you get lost, come and stand here, mama will come here to find you.
This idea can work if the child is familiar with the place, otherwise, instead of finding that fixed place, he/she may become more confused.
2- Whom to tell?
I read something very interesting which we can teach our child. Whom to tell if you get lost?
A mother with kids, Yes! This is the safest option. Ask your child to stay right there or move to the place you fixed earlier and if he/she sees a mom with kids, he/she can tell her that, “I can’t find my parent.”
3- Whom to call?
Have you helped your child memorize your number? It’s time to use it. Ask the baby to call you from that mother’s phone. and tell her where you are.
All of this seems very tough but it’s doable. You must be thinking that how a 2-3 year old will be able to do that. I know, it’s not as easy as it sounds but you can train your child. It obviously can’t be done by just telling the child.
Repeat these things to your child and when you think that he should be following these guidelines, Take him/her to a mall or somewhere and tell him/her to stay there in case of getting lost.
After a few minutes, hide in any place nearby, remember to keep a spy eye on the child. And look what he/she does. If he/she follows the guideline then great but if he/she starts crying clueless and starts running all over. Then go to the child and repeat the training.
You don’t have to hurt the child by scaring him/her, if you feel that the child is not ready to follow the guidelines, go to him/her immediately.
Multiple pieces of training will help, and the child will eventually learn about what to do exactly.
Learning about dangerous elements:
There are so many things to learn for toddlers to stay safe. Usually, parents think that if the child is at home, he/she is safe enough but most accidents with toddlers happen at home.
It’s not because the parent is not taking care of the child but at this age, children become very curious creatures and want to explore each and everything around them. But sometimes, they hurt their own selves to satisfy their curiosity and that’s why these accidents happen.
So, as a parent, it’s your responsibility to help them go through their curiosity without hurting them.
The best way to save them from “at-home accidents”, is to make them aware of the things, even before they become curious.
Dangerous elements at home:
These are certain elements, which make kids curious and they become more prone to accidents.
- Electricity (Switches and sockets)
- Small parts (They may try to eat, especially if the parts are colorful)
- Door locks (children can lock the door when alone in the room)
- Sharp edges of the furniture
- Sharp cutters, scissors, and knives
Parents need to explain the things to the toddlers so they don’t become curious and try out the things on their own.
Remember, Never say, “No! Don’t touch it, don’t go there.” Save your Nos and explain the use of these things and how these can hurt them.
How to do it?
Give a demo of everything, for example, I took my daughter with me to the kitchen. There was a fire on the stove. I held her hand and slowly moved it near the fire. (Holding her hand tightly and keeping the security of my child in my mind.)
I told her that this is fire, it is so hot and it can burn. When she started feeling the heat on her hand, she tried to pull that back and I took her back to her room and told that what it was and how it can hurt her.
Believe me, she never tried to come near to the fire again.
I did similar things with the other elements too.
Teaching about the Road Safety:
Toddlers don’t know anything about road accidents. They just play around and they may run anywhere at any time.
Stand on the side of a road, hold the hand of the baby and make him observe the road. Tell the child about the road and ask her to observe the speed of the traffic.
These little humans are intelligent enough to understand the meaning of “hurt”. From the day of birth, kids can feel the danger and try to save their selves.
There is a test called, the Moro reflex test, which is tested by the doctors at the time of birth. They hold the baby in a seated position while supporting the head. They let the baby’s head drop backward, slightly, and catch the head before it hits the pillow.
The newborn will show a reflex, he/she will startle and lift the palm upside, just like someone gets scared and try to save him/her.
This reflex shows that the baby has a sense of security, He/she can feel the danger and try to save him/her.
Toddlers can learn so many things. Don’t underestimate them. They are just curious about everything, and as a parent, you can help them understand things before they start exploring.
Toddlers are curious creatures, so help them understand things before they start exploring.
They can learn a lot of things, If they can memorize poems, they can memorize the phone numbers too.
Train them to deal with the situations, give demos and if possible, give multiple pieces of training to help them and make them able to keep their own selves safe.
At the end, Always listen to your child.
Kids use different languages to tell their problems, and you! as a parent, should always listen and try to understand them. When they will encounter a problem, the very first thing they will do is, they will come to the parent for the solution. Just make sure that you are maintaining your trust in your child’s mind and you are understanding them.