Health and Safety,Ages 2 to 5 Years - Safety Measures Outside the Home
It is a constant
challenge to keep your child safe. Children ages 2 to 5 years
often do not recognize dangers without constant reminders because they reason
with self-centered (egocentric) perceptions and magical thinking. These thought patterns lead children to overestimate what is
in their control, which contributes to their vulnerability. They are often
unaware of the consequences of their actions.
You cannot protect
your child from every danger he or she can possibly encounter outside the home.
But you can equip your child with some basic safety rules and precautions. Let
your child's natural surroundings
give you ideas for general training to help prepare
your child for a variety of situations he or she may face.
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avoid accidents, injuries, and unsafe situations outside the home, establish
and review basic rules before outings and frequently reinforce them. And let other caregivers know about them.
Basic safety precautions
Always use a car seat and have your child ride in the backseat of your car. Car accidents are the leading cause of death and injury
in young children. Many injuries and deaths can be
avoided by using proper child restraints. Because state regulations vary and
may not include important points to keep your child as safe as possible, follow
basic guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Go to the AAP website at www.healthychildren.org.
Never leave your child alone in a car. Heat
inside the car and other factors could cause long-lasting injury-or death-in a
matter of minutes. A young child's body temperature can raise 3 to 5 times
faster than that of an adult. Keeping the car windows down will not protect
your child in hot or warm weather. Other injuries could also occur from a child
getting stuck in the trunk or setting the car in motion.
Help your child understand "stranger danger." Many parents fear child abduction. Most children who
are abducted are not taken by strangers but rather by a parent, relative,
family friend, or acquaintance. But it is still important to teach your child
to be cautious of strangers and how to react when they feel they are
Teach proper behavior around animals. Your child
should learn how to respond to unfamiliar animals. Teach your child how to
interact with family pets and other animals that he or she is likely to come
Prevent sunburns (radiation burns). Radiation burns are caused by the sun, tanning booths, sunlamps,
radiation therapy for cancer treatment. Radiation
burns in children usually are caused by sun exposure and can cause lasting
skin damage. Keep children out of the sun or use sun-protection measures when
your child is outdoors.
Keep your child safe on the playground. Make sure all
play equipment is safe, in good repair, and appropriate for your child's age.
Closely supervise all young children while they are playing on any