We are headed toward the end of the year and portfolio reviews have begun for many families. Each year I have someone who asks me about the First Aid, Safety and Fire Safety portion on the notification form. Yes, we are required to teach this in one form or fashion. You don’t need to have a textbook to study these topics so I am including some ideas for you to consider.
Prepare a first aid kit to put in your car. Include the following items: various sizes of band aids, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic cream, sunscreen, Q-tips, and cotton swabs. Keep an extra set of clothes in the car for each member of the family. You never know when you might need them! Maybe someone will ask your kids to spend the night on the spur of the moment… Keep trail mix and bottles of water for those days when the kids and you are famished after swimming or hiking or need a quick burst of energy.
Safety There are so many different ways to meet this requirement! Some topics to discuss with your children are:
Household– hot stoves, knives, curling irons, kitchen cleaners, electrical outlets, not leaving things on the floor or the steps, etc. are all important topics to include.
Stranger safety– Discuss having a family code in case someone would need to pick up your children in an emergency. Discuss who is a stranger and when can you talk to them (or not).
Internet Safety– Consider investing in a family internet blocking software. There are quite a number to choose from and each one is a little different. There will be times, however, when your children are away from the house and may be on a computer. Review sites they are allowed to visit and ones they are not.
Bicycle and Road Safety– This is an opportune time to discuss the rules for bike riding since the weather is getting nice. Discuss wearing helmets; what side of the road to ride your bike if there are no sidewalks; and rules for being on the street if you are biking (hand signals, stopping at stop signs, being a defensive driver). Have your children try on their helmets to see if they still fit and check to see if there are any cracks in the helmets. One time the boys and I went for a bike ride and my oldest son was always one to go as fast as he could and put as much distance as he possibly could between him and us. Where we live is hilly and so you are either going up a hill or coming down one to get to our street. Ian tore down the hill with Malcolm pedaling as fast as his little legs could go. Malcolm was out of control as he tried to catch up to his big brother. and all I could “Watch out!” I screamed as I saw Malcolm head straight for the metal transformer box cover.
Boom! Malcolm went flying off the bike and his head hit the big green box. Malcolm was lying in the grass and not moving as I skidded to halt and looked down at him. All I could think of was a brain or neck injury because there is no give with those covers. The good news is that he was wearing his helmet and he was okay after lying still for a minute. That helmet really did protect Malcolm from serious head trauma because when I looked at the helmet, it had split in half! I am so glad I had insisted that everyone wear their helmets.
Fire Safety I have covered this before, but just a quick reminder to have a home fire drill. Talk about different ways to escape, where to meet in case there would be a fire, and no going back in the house- no matter what! Practice stop, drop, and roll, and how to dial 9-1-1 and what to say to the dispatcher.