Happy Children's Day!

Children’s Day is an internationally recognized annual event, started in 1954 by the United Nations, celebrated on November 20 every year. The UN declared that “Mankind owes to the child the best it has to give.” Most parents innately give their children the best of everything they have to offer and would do anything they can to keep them safe. Here are some tips to keep your kids safe and sound this autumn.

 

1)    Dress Warmly

 

The fall brings cooler weather all across Canada. Whether you live out east or temperate west coast, the temperature drops drastically at back to school time. This means that you need to dress your children warmly for school (where they will have extended recess and gym times outside) or for going out with their friends. The first key to dressing your child warmly is to keep them in layers. That means that you will always need a base layer (closest to the child) middle layer and outer layer. The goal is to keep your child warm as well as to keep them dry. A wet child can become a sick child very quickly! It’s also important to ensure that your children have waterproof shoes and gloves, as keeping the feet and hands dry is vital. It’s also important to keep areas of their face from exposure, as sub-zero temperatures can cause frost bite and even do permanent damage to young skin. When in doubt, make sure that your child is comfortable with the temperature, as the other extreme is overdressing your child and worrying about them overheating.

 

2)      Beware of the Dark
 

A well known Halloween safety tip is to tell your children to wear reflective tape on their costumers and treat bags so they can be seen by drivers on the road. While parents go through great lengths to keep their children bright and colourful for trick or treating, the fact is that it becomes especially important to keep them bright in the autumn. While children can be seen until much later in the evening in the summer (when it may not get dark until well after 9 pm) the fall brings new visibility challenges. First, the fall can bring heavy rain and the first snow of the year. This causes very reduced visibility. It also creates a problem in that many drivers do not put on winter tires until well after the first snowfall of the year, making it harder for them to stop in inclement weather. The fall also brings much earlier sunset, so while you may be fine with your child playing outside at 6pm in the summer, in the fall 6pm is officially night time. If your kids are outdoors, make sure their jackets have reflective material, and ensure they have a flashlight on them. If their jackets don’t have reflective material, use some of that reflective tape you used on Halloween!

 

3)      Arm them with a Mobile Phone
 

There is a great amount of debate as to the correct age for a child to have their first mobile phone. Some people allow children as young as 6 to have a phone, while others prefer to wait until their child is a teenager. While the timeframe to have a mobile phone is a decision to be made by parents, what is absolutely certain is that when you feel your child is old enough for a phone, it’s important to give them one for safety reasons. If your child is active in after school activities, they will likely be familiar with walking home in the dark in the fall months. If school gets out between 3 and 4 and they have to stay behind, it’s an absolute guarantee they will be walk home in the dark. Having a mobile phone gives your child a connection to their parents which will allow them to call for a pickup. It also gives them a connection to the police in an emergency. And if they don’t have a flashlight, a mobile phone will usually provide a bright option for them. Having a phone can also eliminate the need for a house key, as many new DIY home security systems offer the ability to unlock a door via an app. And if your child is going to be home alone, having a DIY Home security camera can give you additional piece of mind. In fact, having the best wireless home security system on the market can make them feel more comfortable at home as well.

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