Pregnancy and baby

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

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

Children can start learning how to do things safely from the age of three, 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. Here are a few examples to try:

  • 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. Young children may need to be taught 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 little girls or boys 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: 09/01/2014

Next review due: 09/01/2016


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The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

User700447 said on 27 July 2012

I love your blog. Young people are at risk of assault, abduction, and abuse even in caring families, schools, and communities. Prevention is the key to protecting children’s personal safety. Children’s personal safety skills, when supported, can help them stay safe with most people most of the time. You can teach children to be safe without scaring them – You just need to know how.

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