Unintentional home injury deaths totalled 20,000 from 1992 to 1999 and home injuries led to an average of nearly 21 million visits each year to health care facilities from 1996 to 2000, according to the Home Safety Council. Children are especially vulnerable to injuries in the home from fire, choking, poisoning, firearms and falls. Kids can protect themselves by learning about and using home safety practices. Fun games and activities are ideal for teaching kids about a serious subject through a stress-free method.
Online Interactive Activities
Internet-based activities that allow kids to point and click provide a fun, independent and interactive way to learn. A good example is the FireSafety for Kids website, which has cartoon videos to help kids learn about fire safety, fire alarms and escaping from fire. After watching each video, kids take the online quiz and receive immediate feedback, like applause and cheers for correct answers. CodeRedRover is a website for kids to play online games and download activity sheets.
Activity and Coloring Books
Colouring and activity books are fun ways for younger kids to learn home safety. The Home Safety Council provides a downloadable 8-page booklet, "The Great Safety Adventure," that allows kids to be safety rangers. The booklet includes checklists, word mazes, indoor and outdoor activities and many other activities that children can complete independently or in groups. CodeRedRover also has a downloadable activity booklet and an escape plan. Parents can personalise printable activity sheets by adding their children's names, adding the layout of their homes and including activities based on their child's normal day.
A card game using index cards can teach home safety. On the cards should be pictures of household items, appliances and safety hazards like electrical plugs, items on the staircase and hot drinks. The game could use rules similar to a game of Slap Jack, which requires players to take turns placing cards face up on the table and slapping the card when a jack is revealed. In the safety card game, children slap the card when a safety violation or danger zone shows up.
Kids with safety checklists can investigate their own homes. Children check the stay-away zones and safe zones. Parents can personalise the checklist to match the child's home and use drawings instead of words for younger kids. Outside, kids should think about trees, pools and other outdoor home safety hazards. For younger kids, a helmet and badge make this activity more fun.