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Teaching your child to stay safe

How do I keep my young child safe around cats and dogs?

Media last reviewed: 17/01/2015

Next review due: 17/01/2017

Get tips on teaching young children to stay safe, including teaching them their surname and what to do if they get lost.

Children under three can't always understand or remember safety advice, so they need to have an adult nearby at all times.

From the age of three, children can start learning how to do things safely, but will sometimes forget, especially if they're excited or distracted.

Even if they repeat your instructions back to you, they may not have understood them or be able to follow the instructions all the time.

Children copy other people. If you, your family or their friends do risky things, they'll think it's acceptable and normal.

Tell your child that if they feel uncomfortable and are being told to do something silly or dangerous, it's fine to say no. Encourage them to talk to you if this happens.

Tips on keeping your child safe

Even young children can be taught ways to help keep them safe. It's a good idea to do the following:

  • Teach your child their surname as early as you can.
  • Teach them their address as soon as they're old enough to remember it.
  • Once they're old enough to understand danger, teach them what 999 means and how to call it, especially if you're epileptic, diabetic, blind or have a condition that means they may need to call for help. You may need to teach them what the number "9" looks like.
  • Teach them to stay where they are if they get lost (for example, when you're out shopping) and to tell a mummy who has other children with them. This is safer than telling them not to talk to adults at all and risking them wandering off.

Further information on child safety

Page last reviewed: 27/01/2016

Next review due: 27/01/2018

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