School Age : Safety
Updated: Feb 5
Now that your child is a little bit older, safety becomes more than just about keeping your child safe within your home. Teaching children to keep themselves safe and recognize dangerous situations is an important factor in their care.
As your child becomes more aware of their surroundings, you are probably finding it easier to teach them the basics about looking out for their own safety. It is, however, still important to supervise them, and keep them safe as they grow. Children can go from playing quietly to getting up to all kinds of mischief in a matter of seconds, and they might still not fully understand what makes a situation dangerous. It is also vitally important to ensure you supervise your child near any kind of exposed body of water.
Safety in the home
Your child is by now probably finding all kinds of new and exciting ways to treat their whole world as a playground, including your home.
Locking up medicines and poisons and keeping sharp and foreign objects out of reach are a vital in making your house a safer place. You should always keep doors and windows locked up high and keep chairs and other climbable objects away from them. Keep all dangling cords out of reach, and make sure any heavy items are secured correctly so they cannot fall on your little adventurer. Explain to your child why certain objects are unsafe, so that they can start to recognise dangerous situations and objects themselves as they grow.
Keep copies of emergency contact information on hand just in case.
Whenever you are outside, you should take extra care with your child, and teach them to do the same. Exposure to germs in the air and from the general population can be a big factor in keeping them not only safe, but healthy. Even though as your child grows their immune system becomes stronger, you should still always make sure to sanitize/use your own covering on any ‘common use’ areas your little one might come into contact with.
Adventurous children like to explore everything and anything. Keep an eye on the things you let your child handle but bear in mind that discovering things in this way is a big part of their development.
There are a lot of dangers associated with roads and traffic. Teach your children the importance of being aware of their surroundings, and to use lights and pedestrian crossings as well as checking both ways before crossing any roads.
Sun safety is an important concern with your child. Extensive exposure to the sun and UV radiation are high contributors to skin cancer. Young children’s skin is especially susceptible to sunburn. There are a variety of sun safety practices available.
When driving with your child in the car, always ensure that they are secure in the correct car restraint. At 5 years old, they can continue to be seated in a forward-facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness. Once your child outgrows the size and weight conditions of your restraint, you can choose to switch to a booster seat. It is important that you use the correct restraint for your child’s size and weight to keep them safest. When your child outgrows a booster seat, they can start to use an adult seat restraint.
When travelling in the car, make sure all loose items are stowed where they cannot move around during transit. Your child might like to have some toys to play with in the car, make sure that any toys you give them are free from choking hazards and wont hurt them if he or she drops it on themselves.
Never leave your child alone in the car, not even for a moment. Leaving a child alone in a car is not only dangerous, it is considered a crime in every state and territory in Australia and you could be charged and convicted.
Part of being a parent is being prepared for anything, including accidents, injuries, and illness. Learning about first aid care and the correct way to perform CPR on your child may save their life one day. You can find up to date information on CPR and first aid for children and babies, and when and where courses are held on the St Johns Ambulance website.
raisingchildren.net.au. (2019, February 13). Indoor safety at home: in pictures. Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/safety/home-pets/indoor-safety
raisingchildren.net.au. (2019, February 12). Outdoor safety at home: in pictures. Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/safety/outdoor-safety/outdoor-safety-in-pictures
raisingchildren.net.au. (2020, May 1). Child car safety. Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/safety/car-pedestrian-safety/car-safety