For many parents, it can be a welcome relief when you’re able to get your kids out of the house for a while and take a little break yourself. However, this relaxation can only come if you’re confident that your children are safe when they leave your home.
So to help ensure that your kids will be smart and make the right choices when they’re out playing with their friends in the fresh air around your home, here are three tips for keeping your kids safe when they’re out in your neighborhood.
Be A Smart Pedestrian
Once your kids reach a certain age, everyone involved should be comfortable with them being able to walk to a neighbor’s house on their own. However, this should really only be the case if they know how to be a smart pedestrian.
According to SafeKids.org, being a smart pedestrian means looking both ways before crossing the street so as to avoid getting hit by a car, always using sidewalks and crosswalks when available, walking facing on-coming traffic, and taking extra care when walking past driveways. By teaching your kids these important rules about being a safe and smart pedestrian, you should both feel confident in your child’s ability to safely walk around your neighborhood on their own.
Set Clear Physical Boundaries
As your children get older, the area you allow them to be on their own will likely get much bigger. But despite this, it’s still important to have some clear physical boundaries that your child knows not to cross into.
SafeHome.org shares that, for many parents, these boundaries will hover around where you can effectively see or hear your child or your child can see or hear you when you call for him or her. In addition to this, you should also set boundaries about when your child should return home to check-in with you. Then, if your child hasn’t returned home by that time, you know to go out and find him or her.
Teach Your Kids About “Tricky People”
Another danger you should teach your kids about before letting them go on their own around your neighborhood is “tricky people.”
Once more commonly known as “stranger danger”, teaching your children about “tricky people” helps them to know that not all strangers are bad. When explaining what a “tricky person” is, Terri Peters, a contributor to Today.com, recommends focusing on the fact that tricky people will ask a kid for help rather than asking an adult. If your child ever sees someone they think is a “tricky person”, teach them how to get the attention of a trusted adult and run away to a safe place.
To feel more comfortable with your kids spending time out in your neighborhood without direct parental supervision, consider using the tips mentioned above to teach them how to keep themselves safe.
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Thank you for reminding me that I should always teach my kids about the important rules on how they can be a smart and safe pedestrian. We moved into this neighborhood a few months back, but I’m still afraid to let them out of the house by themselves. Aside from teaching rules and making them realize the importance of being extra careful whenever they’re about to cross the road, I think the parents in our neighborhood should also play their role and install crosswalk lights that can potentially make their kids safer.