Exploration is a key part of healthy development. Preschool-age children need to be able to touch and explore. Children ages three to six are more independent in their play. Childproofing is still important. It can be difficult to find a balance when talking about normal versus unsafe adult–child interactions. Talking about healthy personal boundaries can be better than frightening warnings.
Parents’ role is to create an environment free of hazards and unsafe situations:
- Closely monitor children around vehicles and during water play.
- Family members should wear safety helmets when riding bikes, scooters, skates/skateboards.
- Explain how to recognize responsible, trusted adults.
- Practice the family emergency plan. As children get older, they have the ability to follow a plan for emergencies.
- Help children understand when and how to call 911.
Adapted from Parents as Teachers (PAT), Foundational 2 Toolkit, p. 5