Friday, October 10, 2008

Fire, Baby!

It's Fire Safety Awareness Week. If you're parenting a toddler or preschooler, I want to remind you to talk to them about what to do in the case of a fire. Here are a few simple talking points that even young children can grasp:

  • Teach them to dial 9-1-1 if they see/smell fire.
  • Teach them to stop, drop, and roll if they are on fire. (Practice doing this together- they'll be amused watching you!)
  • Talk about where you would meet outside. Keep it really simple, like "At the mailbox."
  • Talk about firefighters, fire trucks, sirens, equipment, and what might happen if there's a fire.
  • Finally- and I'm beginning to think most importantly- show your child pictures, either online or in a book, of what a firefighter in full-gear looks like. They wear masks, you know. My 2- and 3-year olds had two fire fighters visit their preschool yesterday. And I will tell you this... when Firefighter Max put on all his gear- despite the fact that all the children watched him put it on- about half of them lost it. Major crying, shaking, screaming going on in that room. Luckily, my two were simply fascinated and all my son wanted to do was try on the gear. But, apparently, too many kids are really scared of the sight of a fireman in his firefighting gear. That worries me. You don't want to think your child might hide from someone trying to save her! Here's one pic to get you started:

Stay safe. Educate your children. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. If you don't have smoke detectors, call your local fire department. They'll likely provide them to you free of charge.

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