The world can be a dangerous place for children, especially for little ones old enough to do a bit of exploring on their own. Being aware of the top dangers can help you keep your kids safe, not only through childproofing and taking care to be cautious in dangerous situations, but by helping children to understand those dangerous situations for themselves.
Accidents while driving are the top cause of childhood injury and death. Kids should always ride in the back seat, and, depending on their age and size, use the appropriate car seat or booster chair. Teach kids from an early age to always buckle up in the car, and make sure that their car seats are age and weight appropriate to keep them safe.
Water safety is crucial. Three children die every day in accidental drownings. Make sure that pools—even shallow wading pools— are secured behind locked gates or emptied when not in use. For older children, swimming lessons can be a great way to help them stay safe near water.
One of the most dangerous places for children is their own home, with its easy access to poisons, matches, knives, and hot stoves. Rather than trying to keep all these things out of reach, especially of older kids, help them understand what the dangers are and what they can and can't do. For example, children can learn to help sort laundry, but it's an adult's job to add detergents.
It's one of a parent's greatest fears, but the truth is that every kid is going to fall at some point. Whether it's falling and bumping their heads while learning to walk, or toppling off a bike once the training wheels come off, it's not uncommon. Because falls are so common, so are fall-related injuries. Make sure to supervise children when falls are a risk, and remind kids they need to use safety equipment like helmets and padding.
Animal Bites and Stings
Help children to understand that animals have feelings of fear and pain just like they do, and it's important to respect those feelings, whether they meet a dog out for a walk, or are playing with a family pet. This can also help kids understand why it's important to leave wild animals alone, helping them to avoid painful bites or stings as they play outside.
There are plenty of dangers out there for kids, but with a little preparation and some help from the kids themselves, you can take steps to keep your little ones safe. The situational awareness you will develop learning martial arts will be invaluable in identifying and avoiding danger. Take a few minutes today to spot the danger zones in your kids' lives and see what you can do to make them that much safer.