October in our home brings pumpkins on the front porch, visits to the apple orchard, and the painful hunt for Halloween costumes (Why does it have to be so hard?). It is also a great month to talk with your children about fire safety.
Fire Safety Measures
According to the US Fire Administration, about 3,400 people die and another 17,500 people are injured in house fires each year. So, how do we talk to our children, especially toddlers, about fire safety?For toddlers and preschoolers:
- Read books about fire stations and the job of a firefighter. It is important for children to see firemen and understand that they are safe people in a potentially frightening situation. If you can schedule a visit to your local fire station – even better!
- As often as you can, remind your children that it’s not safe to play with matches, lighters, or outlets. Teach your child to find an adult if he sees something dangerous.
- Teach toddlers to “Stop, Drop, and Roll” if clothing catches on fire. If your child is anything like my son, he will think it’s really fun to practice.
- I know kids hate it, but test your smoke detector so your child can hear what it sounds like when it goes off. Tell your child to “Stay low and GO!” Little kids are more likely to hide, so make sure you address that with your child.
- When you feel like your child is ready, demonstrate how to dial 9-1-1. Remind him that it is only a number to call when there is a real fire or emergency.
- Most toddlers are too young to learn their full address, but at least teach your child the name of the street you live on and the full names of the adults in your home. A dispatcher can use that information to pinpoint a home’s location if the child doesn’t know the full address.
- Your child should know two ways out of the house. Practice exiting the house with your child. Drills are practiced at school and should be done at home, as well!
- Talk about where the family will meet meet once everyone is out of the house. It’s a good idea to make the meeting place near the street, so emergency responders can account for everyone when they arrive. Mailboxes or trees are great options. Discuss the Family Meeting Place and have the family gather there during drills.
- By age 6, your child should know his full address, parents’ names, and parents’ phone numbers.
- Show your child how to open windows in the home. Perhaps this is a safety fear, but if a child were to become trapped in a house fire, he should open the window and scream for help.
- It is SO important that you remind your child to NEVER go back into a burning home or take time to collect a favorite possession.
While you’re thinking about fire safety, take some time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors. They are SO much more than a warning that you’re burning dinner! They actually save lives.
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Tags: fire safety