5 Things Your 5-Year-Old Needs to Know for Their Safety

5 Things Your 5-Year-Old Needs to Know for Their Safety

How to guarantee the safety of your youngest in everyday life? A psychologist reveals her advice and tips.

“Don’t be a stranger”, “don’t cross the road when the light is red”… Many of us tirelessly repeat these words in order to guarantee (or rather try to guarantee) the safety of our children. However, these recommendations have their limits. Caitlin Slavens, a child psychologist specializing in parenting and co-founder of Mama Psychologists, told Newsweek what kids (really) should know to be safe.

A 5 year old child should know

1. Their name, address and parents’ telephone number

From the age of 5, your child should know their full name (and yours), their first name, their address and the number of at least one of their parents like the back of their hand, says Caitlin Slavens.

If he gets lost, near your home, at the supermarket or even on vacation abroad, this information is essential: it is the first thing that the people who will take care of him will ask him.

2. When and how to call for help

Still according to the expert, from the age of 3-4, it is possible to explain to your child what an emergency is and how to call 15 or 18.

This may involve role play scenarios to help children practice and understand. They must know what to do when someone is injured or in danger. Parents must also return to the subject regularly to help children remember it.“, she explains.

Another important point: teach him to get to safety in the event of danger (fire, flood, etc.).

3. Recognize potentially “dangerous” people

Psychologist Caitlin Slavens also advises parents to explain “stranger danger” from the age of 5. They must also learn and understand that the people they meet (a neighbor, a cousin, an older brother’s friend, etc.) can sometimes be cunning and/or abuse their naivety.

“The goal is to teach children to identify behaviors that may indicate someone is trying to manipulate, deceive or exploit them. Anyone can pose a threat to a child’s safety, and research shows that children are more likely to be hurt by someone they know. We want children to know that certain behaviors are unacceptable, such as not respecting their personal space and boundaries or ask them to keep secrets from their parents,” reveals the psychologist.

Without scaring children, it is essential here to teach them to trust their intuitions.

“We don’t want to use scare tactics, but it’s important that they know what a gut feeling is and that we empower them to act by telling them that we know they are capable of doing it. proud,” she concludes.

4. Know the water and road traffic safety rules

Another point not to be neglected: vigilance around bodies of water (swimming pool, river or stream, for example). The idea here is to teach children, from the age of five, never to approach it without being accompanied by an adult.

They also need to practice crossing streets, learn to look both ways and wait for traffic lights before moving on.” warns Caitlin Slavens.

5. Name your emotions

Finally, she adds that children should be encouraged to name their emotions (like joy, sadness, or anger) and express them appropriately by the age of 5, “because this skill helps develop empathy and communication skills“.