If you’ve got a young family then, of course, there’s nothing you want more than to protect them and to know they’re safe at all times. Whilst we are much better off today than we were 30 or 40 years ago, there are still a lot of risks that we encounter in our everyday lives without even realizing it.
Whether we find these risks in our home, walking down the street or online, there are lots of precautions we can take to mitigate these risks.
Here’s how to keep your family safe and some personal safety advice.
Don’t Talk to Strangers
The age-old adage still rings true. Teach your children not to talk to people walking down the street who they don’t know. If they find that a man or woman is behaving in a strange way they should avoid them altogether.
Of course, it is also important that they understand that not everyone who is a stranger means them harm and that sometimes it is necessary to engage with a stranger. But it is important that they realize the dangers that can ensue if they go off with a stranger.
Keep Knives and Sharp Objects Out of Reach
Put knives and sharp objects either in a cabinet that only adults can reach or, better still, in a locked drawer. It can be annoying to have to fetch the knives from a locked drawer when you are going to cut up some meat and you might ask yourself what happens if you lose the key.
But if you keep the key on your keyring with your house keys you should be fine.
Teach Your Kids How to Deal with Guns
Be sure not to keep guns in the house if you have children. They pose a significant danger to children if they go off by accident.
If you are into hunting and need a place to leave your guns then consider leaving them at a storage facility rather than keeping them in the house.
The very sight of a gun can also make a child frightened so try to avoid people carrying guns in general, particularly in open-carry states.
Teach your kids how to act if they are stopped by a police officer carrying a gun. Be sure to tell them to cooperate at all times and not to make any sudden movements to avoid being shot by a police officer.
Also, be sure to give them advice on how to deal with a live shooter situation if a gunman or a thief were to break into a public place or their home. There was a school shooting every 12 days in the U.S last year.
If a thief does break in here are some things to look out for.
Get a Working Smoke Alarm
If there’s a fire in your house in the middle of the night you need to know that you will be woken up so that you can evacuate you and your family as quickly as possible.
Be sure to test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector to ensure it is in working order and to replace the battery as soon as it is expired.
Not having a smoke alarm can be fatal.
Find a Way to Keep in Touch with Your Kids When They’re Out
It is understandable why some parents are reluctant to give their children or teenage children a mobile phone from an early age.
Social media can cause lots of damage to a child’s development and children can find themselves at the mercy of school bullies, round the clock.
However, it is important you have some way of contacting your children when they have gone off on their own either to an after school activity or just to play with friends.
One way around this is to get them a basic mobile phone which doesn’t have access to mobile data services or the internet and can just be made for calls and text messages.
Another solution is to give them money to use a payphone or to contact the venue they are going to be attending – for instance, a local community center – and ask if it is possible for you to be able to phone them and for your children to use the landline phone.
Lock Up and Double-Check
When leaving the house be sure to ensure that all of the windows and doors are securely locked.
Minimize the chances of anyone breaking in by only handing keys to your children when it is necessary for them to be able to enter the home when you are not there and always ask for them back.
But always ensure that you double-check all of the locks before you leave the house, even if you are in a hurry. Also, be sure to teach your kids to do the same so that it becomes part of the routine.
Keeping Your Family Safe: Just Be Careful
Modern-day life is stressful and it can feel as if we are always in a hurry. But putting plans in place to keep your family safe and ensuring your home safety is not something that can ever be rushed.
Whether it’s thinking about where to keep the knives and other sharp objects or how you are going to get in touch with your children when they are heading out, thinking about the details is important.
Take the time out to think about all scenarios and how you can best prepare for them and always find the time to double-check all of your security arrangements.
If you’re interested in other articles on family safety be sure to check out other pieces on our lifestyle section.