Nearly 2,800 people die each year because of house fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. This statistic is proof enough that young children must know fire safety to be adequately protected in the event of a blaze in their home. Do a number of activities with your preschooler so he knows what to do in the event of a fire, and then award him a certificate as proof that he's got what it takes to be fire smart.
Family Action Plan
Start your fire safety lessons by creating a family action plan. Similar to the drills children have at school and the drills adults have work, a family action plan teaches your preschooler what to do if there's a fire at home. Establish two escape routes and practice using them with your child. Designate a meeting spot, such as the mailbox or a tree, as well. Instruct your child to head straight to the meeting spot if there's a fire and remind him that the rest of the family will meet him there. Test your plan regularly, KidsHealth recommends.
Teach your child to call 911 in the case of a fire. Teach your preschooler how to dial 911 on your cell phone and on a land line. Stress to your child that she needs to leave the house if it's on fire, however, and head to a trusted neighbor's house to call the fire department.
Stop, Drop and Roll
Show your child how to stop, drop and roll. Tell her that if his clothes catch on fire, he can put the fire out by stopping what he's doing, dropping to the floor and rolling around to extinguish the flames. Demonstrate how to do this as quickly as possible and then practice a few times to ensure your preschooler understands.
Set your smoke alarm off so your child knows what it sounds like. Teach her to immediately head to your family meeting spot if she hears the smoke alarm go off. Tell her that just because she doesn't see a fire when the alarm goes off doesn't mean that a fire isn't somewhere in the house. Show your child how to crawl low and to pull her shirt up over her mouth and nose, both of which help prevent smoke inhalation, which, in severe cases, can be fatal. Demonstrate how to feel a door to see whether it's hot, which indicates a fire on the other side. Instruct your preschooler to never stop for stuffed animals or toys and to never go back into a burning house for any reason, the KidsHealth website recommends.
The Actual Certificate
When your child receives a certificate to honor his hard work, he'll take pride in what he's learned and he'll be more likely to remember it in the future. It doesn't have to be an elaborate certificate to get the message across that he's done a good job. Draw a certificate with crayons or use a computer program to design one. Write your child's name in large letters on the certificate and display in a prominent spot in your home, such as the refrigerator his bedroom wall.
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