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Protecting Your Child

A trait easily visible in the animal kingdom is a mother protecting her children until they reach the age that they can defend themselves. For humans, the list of potential harmers is long and stretches from self-induced accidents to predatory attacks by others, both youths and adults.

Protecting your child when at home

Humans are curious by nature, and children suffer from a lack of experience to know or to infer that some actions can be harmful. Hence, a good parent needs to blend making a home "child safe" with teaching a child how to judge what is potentially harmful. One of the leading causes of fires in homes, for example, comes from children playing with matches. Parents need to remove all such harmful objects from anywhere children may gain access to them; and they need to teach children about their danger. This includes many home hazards, such as medicines, cleaning solutions, sharp objects, and weapons. In addition to physical dangers, you will need to guard their learning by restricting what they watch on TV (see parental controls for TV's), listen to in music, encounter in games, and surf into on the Internet (see parental control software).

Protecting your child when in transit

As children become more independent, they begin to travel with less and less supervision. Essential to safe travel for your child is teaching them how and where to go, warning signs of impending danger, and who to seek out in case they get lost or are in danger.

Protecting your child when away from home

Younger children should be handed off to other trustworthy guardians (teachers, neighbors, family, and friends) when out of your sight. As they grow older, you will need to teach your child to identify safe environments on their own. You may want to consider children identity kits as a precaution in the event your child becomes missing.


Protecting themselves

As your child matures, you will need to help them learn to distinguish between blind obediance and resisting harm. Child abuse -- ranging from physical abuse to child pornography

-- often arises because small children assume all adults can be trusted and their instructions followed. As a parent, you will need to help your child learn that there are good and bad people, how to tell the difference between them, and what to do when encountering them.

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