5 Things Kids Should Know Before Playing Outside

Just recently two kids around my neighborhood found a needle outside at recess at their elementary school. One of the kids picked up the needle and playfully jabbed the other kid with it. These kids were 8 years old and unaware of the dangers that needles pose. Playing in the parks can be dangerous. Often times the parks are made unsafe because of the older patrons who frequent them and leave all sorts of paraphernalia there. No kid should have to spend their days inside because of the careless others that pollute their parks so that is why parents should take the extra step and make sure that their children understand how to truly stay safe as the warmer weather approaches.

– Make sure your children are aware of the dangers of needles. Used needles are hazardous because they can spread diseases such as tetanus, HIV, Hepatitis C and syphilis. These diseases when contracted can cause death. Parents should teach their children to stay away from and to never touch a needle even if it does not look used.

– Make sure to teach your children to be weary of strangers. It has been said over and over again but many parents do not take this statement with much weight. Many people pose to be friendly but they are not and it is important to teach your children this. Teach your children not to give away personal information like their name or address and never to leave the park area to go with a stranger.

– Make sure your children know to never chase a ball if goes into the street. I have seen this happen often; a ball rolls into the street and the wager child runs right after it not looking to their left or right at traffic. It is important that parents tell kids to never chase a ball if it goes into the street but to instead ask an adult for help.

– Make sure your kids know to be weary of dogs (and cats.) Sure dogs are cute but even the cutest and smallest of dogs can have the nastiest of bites. You can teach your child not to approach a stray dog and not to rush and pet a dog that is on the leash without first asking the owner. Teach your child that if they would like to pet a dog that is on the leash to ask the owner. Remember the right way to pet a dog is to let them smell you first and then you pet them gently on the head.

– Make sure your kids know not to go to strange cars. The playground can bring about some unsavory people so it is best to teach your children to stay away from cars and unfamiliar people. Sometimes people pose as nice (and sometimes they really are) but they are really not they try to lure your kid in with the promise of treats or gifts. Teach your children the importance of keeping safe and staying away from others that they do not know.