Jun 05, 2023

Our Top 5 Tips on Teaching Young Children about Safety

Two nursery children playing on tricycles outdoors 

This week, we recognise Child Safety Week (Monday 5th June- Sunday 11th June), and in this blog, we will explore the top five tips for teaching young children about safety at home.

What is Child Safety Week?

Child Safety Week is recognised annually by the Child Accident Prevention Trust. It is their community education campaign, promoting thousands of safety conversations and activities UK-wide. This year’s theme is “Safety Made Simple”, and free resources are offered to families and practitioners here 

Why is safety so important for children to learn at a young age?

As parents and as practitioners, it is our responsibility to teach young children about safety and allow them to take safe risks. Therefore, across The Old Station Nursery Group, we ensure that teaching young children about safety is an essential part of their development at our nurseries. It equips them with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves in various situations. By instilling these safety habits early on, we empower children to make informed choices and navigate the world with confidence.

How can you help at home?

Starting with the basics: When teaching children about safety, it’s good to start with the fundamentals. For example, when explaining basic concepts such as crossing the road safely, talk about looking both ways before crossing, holding an adult’s hand while walking near traffic and ensuring, where possible, that the adult walks next to the road. Reinforce these lessons regularly and encourage them to practice these safety habits

Use age-appropriate language and resources: Children learn best when information is presented in a way that is engaging and relatable to their age group. Use simple and clear language to explain safety rules, hazards, and potential dangers. Utilise visual aids, books, or interactive games specifically designed for young children to make learning about safety fun and memorable. Through participation, children learn to be aware of potentially dangerous situations and hazards to avoid, gaining a healthy respect for safety precautions.

Role-play and hands-on activities: Children learn by doing, so incorporating role-play and hands-on activities is a fantastic way to teach safety skills. Create scenarios where they can practice what they’ve learned, such as pretending to cross a road or demonstrating how to respond to a stranger. Engage in interactive activities like creating a safety-themed obstacle course in the backyard or practicing fire drills at home to reinforce safety measures.

Encourage open communication: Maintaining communication with children is essential for their safety. Encourage them to express their concerns, ask questions, or share any experiences related to safety. When they feel comfortable discussing safety topics, they are more likely to seek guidance when faced with potential risks. Be a patient and attentive listener, providing age-appropriate explanations and reassurance.

Be a consistent role model: Children often learn by observing and imitating adults. Therefore, it is vital to be a consistent role model when it comes to safety. Demonstrate and talk about safe behaviours, such as why wearing a helmet while cycling or using seatbelts in the car is important. Explain why these precautions are necessary and highlight the positive outcomes of responsible safety practices. Consistency between your words and actions will reinforce the importance of safety in their minds.

Teaching young children about safety is an ongoing process that requires patience, repetition, and consistency. By starting with the basics, using age-appropriate language and resources, engaging in role-play activities, encouraging open communication, and being a consistent role model, you can empower children to develop lifelong safety habits.

Related pages/links:

Fact sheets by Child Accident Prevention Trust

Fact sheets by NDNA

Related blogs:

Keeping Toddlers Safe in the Sun

The Importance of Mental Health in the Early Years

Blog checked by Emma Pittam (Head of Quality and Training at The Old Station Nursery Group)

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