Keeping children safe and helping them stay safe is what preschool safety is all about. Preschool centers need a detailed plan for student safety, and preschool children are capable of learning the skills that will keep them safe.
Children can be very trusting and this can occasionally lead them into dangerous situations. Children need to be able to say their full name, address and phone number. Providing this information to a police officer, firefighter or rescuer will save time should they get lost. Basic safety procedures should be taught at an early age. Safety precautions, including not talking to strangers, not to play or touch lighters or matches and how to call 911 should something happen, are skills every child should have. Using toy phones, a parent or teacher can pretend to be a dispatcher.
Keeping records of your child will help authorities search for your child should they become lost or separated from you. Updating photos regularly should be included in a family's preschool safety plan. Fingerprints, a few strands of hair and vital medical information should also be included. When a child is lost, time is of the essence. Having these items on hand reduces the time required to provide this information to search and rescue, law enforcement and others who are assisting in the search for a missing child.
It is important for all households to have a safety plan. Knowing what to do if the fire alarm goes off is something that every preschool safety plan should include. If you live in an area where earthquakes, tornados or other natural events are common, include these in the family safety plan, and practice these safety plans regularly. The buddy system is a way to help preschoolers stay safe. An older sibling or family member can be their safety buddy. Keep fire and poison control numbers in a visible place. Smoke detectors should be in all households. Including your preschooler when you test smoke alarms and replace the battery, reinforces safety plans.
Using printouts, library books and visits to emergency facilities children can learn how these special people keep them safe. Incorporating a preschool safety plan during fire prevention week or tornado safety week allows instructors to discuss these important topics with children. Games including dress up and pretend are fun ways to help a child learn about safety. Making firefighter's hats from paper, learning about search and rescue dogs, and word games where safety steps are placed in sequence are all ways to help a preschooler learn to be safe.
Preschool facilities should have a strict policies and procedures for all their students. Students should be accounted for during every moment everyday. Drop off and pick up time for children by adults should be carefully controlled, and access to the facility should be restricted during operational hours. Sign in and out sheets, pictures of students and their parents as well as emergency contact numbers for all students are examples of good safety protocols.
Developing the skills needed to stay safe and developing preschool safety programs should include parental involvement. Parents should talk about safety regularly so children can respond properly during an emergency.