As a parent or legal guardian, you want your child to be happy and carefree. You also want to keep your child safe from injury or harm.
Injuries are often not accidents and can be prevented by using adequate safety measures during transportation, play and other everyday activities. These measures, besides teaching your child to use appropriate caution, should also include recommended safety gear. In Canada, some of the safety measures are not only recommended but also required by law. For example, it is the law in NL that children travelling in vehicles are safely secured in a car seat or booster seat that is appropriate for their age, weight and height.
Head injuries are the leading causes of serious injury and death in children on wheels (bicycles, tricycles, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, etc.). Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by 85%.
There are many helpful resources with detailed information that can help you keep your child injury-free through all developmental stages, from infant to adolescent.
Many of these safety resources have information on:
- Car and booster seats safety and laws
- Internet and cell phone safety
- Home safety products
- Toys and playground safety
- Drowning, poisoning, scald and burn prevention
Bullying is when someone does or says something to hurt someone else. It is always on purpose. Bullies can work on their own or in packs. Either way, bullying is about making someone feel small and powerless. No one asks to be bullied, and no one deserves it. [Source: Kids Help Phone]
Kids Help Phone (an organization helping children in abusive situations) runs an excellent website with lots of information on bullying and other topics involving children’s safety. The website is geared towards children and teenagers.
Encourage your child to visit this website to help them be prepared in case they find themselves in unsafe situations.
Unfortunately, bullying is quite common among children of all ages, particularly adolescents. If a child is being bullied, it can affect his or her health, performance in school and overall life.
If you suspect your child is a victim of bullying or being a bully, you can ask a teacher at the school or the CAYP Counselors at the ANC for help.
Protection from Abuse
NL has a relatively low crime rate, but there are some things parents and legal guardians should know to be able to protect their children from potential harm or abuse. Parents should know:
- where their children are at all times
- who their children’s friends are
- their neighbourhood and surrounding area
Parents should also teach their children things to keep them safe from harm, without making them fearful about going out into the world. Children should know:
- their own first and last names, their parents’ or guardians’ first and last names, the family residence address and telephone number
- where to go in an emergency
- stranger danger — never to talk to strangers, never ever to get into a stranger’s car and never to accept candy or other gifts from strangers, even if the stranger says he knows their parents
- to always play in a safe place
- to walk in groups, whenever possible
- to always tell you where they will be
- about Internet safety
- about their private body parts, their proper names and what is not appropriate touching
In NL, it is the law that you must report to Child Protection Services when you have the knowledge or reasonable grounds to suspect that children are in situations where there is abuse and/or neglect. Children have the right to be protected and that is the responsibility of every adult.
For many parents, the child abuse they fear the most is that of a stranger. Ironically, most abductions and abuse of children is by people that they know and trust.
It is important that your children feel they can trust you and talk to you about anything. They need to know that they will not be punished for telling you that something bad has happened.
Amber Alert is a joint project of the various police services in NL and the media. It is a voluntary, cooperative program that sends an emergency alert to the public if a child has been abducted and it is believed that his or her life is in grave danger.
- Parents: Rights and Responsibilities
- Canada Safety Council
- Child Safety Link
- Parachute Canada: Preventing Injuries. Saving Lives
- Canadian Child Care Federation
- Elmer the Safety Elephant
- Child Health – Public Health Agency of Canada
- Health Canada: Safe Sleep
- Health Canada: Children’s Products
- Health Canada: Consumer Product Safety – Is Your Child Safe?
- Transport Canada: Child Safety and Car Seats
- Canadian Red Cross – First Aid and CPR Courses
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police: Internet Safety Resources
- International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children
- Little Warriors – Education and Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
- Kids Help Phone
- To report child abuse call 1-833-552-2368 (Toll Free) or contact your local police.
Related Topics in this Guide
We have made every effort to ensure that the information in this Guide is accurate and up-to-date. If you find any errors or omissions, please contact us.