Most parents will do anything they can to protect their kids & keep them safe. We love our kids more than anything in the world. We immunize them against diseases. We teach them not to trust strangers. We put training wheels on their bikes & make them wear helmets.
As they get older, we talk to them about the dangers of smoking, doing drugs, driving while under the influence of alcohol and engaging in unprotected sex. We watch them, guide them & educate them. We are there protecting them every step of the way.
Unfortunately, kids and young adults just aren’t very safety minded, have a sense of invulnerability & take more risks. According to the Canadian Red Cross, the leading cause of death for ages 1 – 44 years is injuries. This is tragic, especially when most accidents & injuries are preventable! Why is this happening to our children? How can we keep them safe?
When it comes to infants & young children, most parents are pretty diligent when it comes to safety. We follow proper car seat regulations & child proofed our homes with covers over electrical outlets, locking cupboards (keeping poisons & corrosive materials out of reach) etc. When it comes right down to it, the best way to keep infants & young children safe is to supervise them at all times.
When kids get a little older, they become more independent. They don't want Mom & Dad hanging around them & their friends & we aren't always there to supervise them. One of the most important things that you can do to keep kids safe is to lead by example. Kids will do what you do. Wear your safety gear when you work on a project around the house, garage or yard. Take the time to be safe and don’t take short-cuts. Tell them what you are doing to stay safe & help them to understand.
Another thing that you can do to keep older children safe is to put them in safety related courses such as swim lessons, bicycle safety and babysitting courses. Register the family in a first aid course (injury prevention is always part of the course curriculum).
When they get their first job, don’t rely on strangers to keep them safe. Talk to them about accidents that can happen on the job & teach them to take responsibilty for their own safety. Talk to them about approaching their boss if they haven’t had the proper training or haven’t been given safety gear. By law, everyone has the right to refuse work that may be dangerous to themselves or others.
Most workplaces have safety rules, unfortunately not everyone follows the rules. Some days can be bloodier than others. Watch these occupation health & safety videos with your kids/young adults: http://bloodylucky.ca/. Safety videos with shock value can really help, especially if the video involves kids/young adults of their own age. A safe work ethic is a life skill that we don’t want our children to learn the hard way. Keep your kids safe & keep them alive!