Lebanon has this week been ravaged by forest fires. How do we protect our kids from such disasters? Here are proven tips to teach children fire safety at home and in the forest.
Toddlers register everything, repeat, and imitate. Build on their innate ability to learn by reading them books about firefighters, fires and wood. Explain that fire is dangerous and that we need to stay away from it. Teach them about temperatures and how the stove, oven, coffee and boiling water are ‘hot’ things they should never go near. Make sure they know the difference between hot and cold by letting them touch things with different temperatures (not extreme of course).
2. School age plus
Older kids can handle more information and practical advice:
a- Teach them the emergency number for the Civil Defence (125 in Lebanon). Also, have it stuck somewhere apparent to them (say, on the fridge).
b- Read books or watch short films about what to do in case of fire. They should know, for example, that they always get out, leaving everything behind – even their most precious treasures.
3- Teach kids about fire hazards. Never leave your toys next to fires or heaters, never light matches or candles when alone, never throw a glass bottle in the forest (or anything else for that matter).
4- Play pretend and practice escaping a fire or preventing it.