This is a huge topic and depending upon where you are located, some topics will be more important than others. Classroom safety should be taught daily and outside of school safety taught regularly. Many safety issues can be sent home in the form of newsletters. There are tons of articles and issues surrounding safety, here are just a few.
Phone Safety
The phone can become a lifesaver in an emergency but young children need to be taught how to use it properly. In this day children are often given their parents phones to keep them occupied. Talk to both parents and children about phone safety, it could save them from being robbed or scammed.
Teach children to dial 911 in case of an emergency. An emergency is any serious medical problem (where an adult is hurt or sick so badly they cannot call on their own), any type of fire (business, car, building), and any situation where someone might be seriously hurt (fights, person with weapons, etc.) or to report crimes they see in progress.
Explain to the children that the phone is a tool and not a toy to be played with. If you are aware of children who answer their parent’s phone, teach them to not give any personal family information away to the caller. Spend time talking with the children about what they should do if the caller asks; is your Mommy home? What number did I reach? Who is at home with you? Your Mom ordered from us and I am confirming what is your address?
This web site may help you decide if, and when, you should be teaching the children how to dial for an emergency.
Fire Safety
Burns that require medical treatment occur every day in the United States. Many of these are cooking related and occur in young children who are pulling hot food out of microwaves. Scald burns from hot water, steam, or other hot liquids account for over almost a third of all burns that are admitted to the burn units of hospitals, and many of these are young children. It is important to take time to discuss the danger of hot stoves and microwaves.
Smoke detectors save lives. In order to do their job properly there should be at least one on every level of a home. Although most fire districts have FREE alarms for people, the people are responsible for checking the batteries at least once per year.
• Explain to the children that they should not be playing in the kitchen if someone is cooking. If there is no adult in the kitchen when food is cooking that they should find another area of their house to be.
• Hold a safety meeting for parents and talk about the statistics of burns and young children. And talk to your local fire department to see if they have any safety brochures that you can send home to parents.
• Take a safety walk around your classroom and school. How many fire alarms did you see? Do you see overhead sprinklers in the classrooms and hall? Did you see signs that showed the exit over the door? Is there any place that looked like a fire hazard?
• On a piece of computer paper write the word EXIT with a yellow marker. Encourage the children to trace over the letters. Talk about what the letters are and what EXIT means.
• Remind the children that the fire alarm is only for pulling if there is a fire. Explain that if it is pulled the fire trucks will likely come and if it is not an emergency the school could get in trouble.
• Cut an old hose into 4-foot sections and add these to your block center or dramatic center along with fire hats. Tape red and yellow pieces of tissue paper to the wall to be the fire.
• Check out this web site for extra materials and ideas.
• We provide free fire prevention materials and education materials for schools, fire departments, senior centers, and any other at-risk groups (hearing impaired, disabled, etc.).
• Have the children sort pictures by Hot/Cold
• Play How Low Can You Go? Explain to the children that if they are in a smoky room that they should get as low to the floor and crawl away (smoke rises). Using a jump rope, have two children hold it tightly at about waist height. The rest of the class takes turns crawling underneath without hitting the rope. After each child has had a turn, lower the rope a little bit each time. Continue lowering until the rope is at the lowest that the children can slither under.

Traffic & Pedestrian Safety
Children are very vulnerable to roadside accidents. Many children are unable to gage the speed and distance of traffic. They also tend to be distracted by their own play. As adults it is important for us to teach children how to be safe when near a road and to remind them (often) to stay aware of their surroundings.
• Start by bringing in pictures of safe places to cross the street. Talk about how cars are big and children small. A car might not be able to see you if you are not in a place meant for crossing. Spend time talking about traffic lights. Green means go, red means stop, and yellow means warning the light is about to turn red.
• If you live in an area with sidewalks, talk about what are sidewalks for. Remind children that the sidewalk is for people and the road is for vehicles. Always look when crossing a driveway to be safe.
• Find a place at your school (on the way to the playground, at the bike path) where you can pretend to practice crossing the street. Stop on the line (curb) and look to your left, then your right, then to your left again. If no “cars” coming, walk across the street. If a pretend “car” is coming, step back and let it pass. Begin again.
• Add traffic signs to your block center. Bring them to your rug occasionally and talk about what each sign stands for. Ask the children if they have seen a sign like this anywhere?
• Print a red hexagon shape for each child to cut out. On an index card write the word “STOP” for the children to copy onto their stop sign.
• Have the children collage using red, yellow, and green 2-inch circles. As they collage talk about the meaning of each color in relationship to traffic safety.
• Play Red Light, Green Light. Make a large green and red circle. Explain that when the children see the green sign they can begin moving forward. But when they see the red sign they must stop. Start by holding up the green circle and saying, “Green means go” and allow the children to move forward. Change to the red circle and say “Red means stop”. Continue back and forth holding up the colors. When the children are proficient at stopping and going on command, try playing it without calling out the color (the children will have to use their eyes to see what the command is). Do this with walking, skipping, jumping, tiptoeing, etc.
• Draw a road onto the back of an old blind or large sheet of paper. Add crosswalks. Put it into the block center with a bucket of cars. The children can build the houses along the roads. As the children play, ask them where the people should cross the road. Encourage them to add a stop sign or traffic light at these corners.
Traffic Light Song (sung to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Twinkle, twinkle traffic light,
On the corner shining bright.
Red means stop
And green means go,
Yellow light means wait go slow.
Twinkle, twinkle traffic light,
On the corner shining bright.

Stranger Danger
This is a difficult subject to talk to children about. I would suggest talking with parents and letting them talk to their child (stranger danger COULD be a relative). Encourage your parents to work with their child on dialing their phone number and hitting the DIAL key. Many children learn their parent’s number and 911 but do not realize they must hit the dial key for the phone to call. Share this video with parents? or or (Scroll down the page and check out the videos. These are more appropriate for older preschoolers but the information is valuable).
• Help children to be able to recite their full name and that of their parents. Older children can practice their phone numbers by copying over numbers written with a yellow marker on paper.
• Write the child’s phone number down on two sentence strips. Cut one apart and the child can use it to match the numbers accordingly.
• Let the children pretend that you are a stranger. Explain to them that you are going to grab their arm and pretend to pull them towards a car. Have then fall down and lay on their backs and shout “STOP, LEAVE, HELP!”
Always make sure you know where your children are when on a field trip and on the school grounds.

Poison Safety
Many preschool children put things in their mouth. Your classroom should have non-toxic materials available and something’s like bleaching solution out of reach. But sometimes children see things that look like they should taste good or are so pretty they just want to touch it (like mushrooms that sprout up on your playground or icy metal bars that look good enough to lick). Because of this, it is very important that teachers are in constant observance of what the children are doing. This goes not just for poisons but also for dangers in general. Never assume the child knows what may be poison, the list can be surprising. Some common things you might not realize are; deodorants, lipsticks, nail polish remover, mouthwash, hand sanitizer, air fresheners, bubble-blowing solution, glues, and paints. So always check your labels and lock up anything that could potentially make a child sick.
Check out this web site to get ideas and information on teaching preschoolers about poison safety issues.

Water Safety
Drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children age 1-4 years. A child can drown in as little water as 1-inch. When your children are playing with water, always be aware. When you are through using the water table, empty it as well as any buckets or containers that may have been used. (Standing water also draws mosquitos, another reason for emptying). Know the people on your sight who are up to date on CPR and first aide. There is a web site that talks about all kinds of information for parents on safety. Check it out and then share the information with your families.

Scissor Safety
Teach your children to carry scissors the correct way. When cutting, cut away from your body using small strokes. It is easier to cut from right to left when you are right handed and from left to right when you are left handed. Make sure the child is using the correct scissors for the hand holding the scissors. Always pass scissors handle first to another person.

Preventing Injuries
Teach the children to keep toys off the floor unless the center is purposefully set up for floor play (such as blocks). Explain the importance of keeping things off the floor to avoid tripping hazards. It is also important to teach the children to quickly cleanup any sand, water, or paint off the floor as these can become slippery. Use towels under the sensory table and provide child sized brooms and mops so the children can learn to cleanup themselves. Children model behaviors that they see adults do so remember to not sit on tables or counters. Monkey see, monkey do. Monkeys do the same as you.

Bicycle/tricycle Safety
• The first lesson introducing children to riding toys such as bicycles and tricycles is the importance of wearing a safety helmet. Make sure that it fits each child snuggly under the chin. I have heard of people using shoe protectors as a barrier between hair and helmet due to lice concerns.
• As the child becomes proficient at peddling, remind them to keep their head up and look forward to avoid running into others. (It is natural for a child to look at the ground or their feet when they are first learning to peddle and balance).
• Be aware of children sharing rides. Some riding toys are meant to give children rides on the back but sharing a seat or handlebars is not safe.
• Teach children the hand signs for turning.
• Watch for children who are using the riding toys for crashing into one another. For safety reasons they should stay several feet back from one another and watch for slowing riders.
• Teach the children to call out “on your left” when passing one another. Help them learn their left from their right. (When you put your pointer up and your thumb out on your left hand it makes the capital letter L).

To Share with Parents