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Quick Tips: Helping Your Child Stay Safe and Healthy - Get started

Raising children is a big job. It can be overwhelming to think about all the things your child needs to learn to stay safe and healthy.

In addition to teaching children good eating and activity habits, you can also teach them some basic health and safety habits.

Remember that your child learns habits by watching you. If you and the rest of your family follow healthy habits, your child will learn them from you. And if you have bad habits, your child will learn those too.

Good general habits for a healthy life

Help your children learn to:

  • Think. Children need to learn that actions have consequences. They need to learn the difference between fantasy and reality. Before your children act, encourage them to stop, take a breath, and think about the consequences.
  • Talk openly. Encourage your children to talk about what is bothering them.
  • Relax. Learn relaxation skills, and teach them to your children.
  • Eat well. Encourage your children to learn about and enjoy healthy foods.
  • Be active. Help your children find physical activities and hobbies they enjoy. Also, limit the amount of time they watch TV, text or talk on the phone, or use the computer .

Preventing illness

Kids get dirty. They play with other kids who may be sick. Teaching them the following habits will keep them healthier:

  • Wash your hands each time you use the toilet, after you blow your nose, and before you eat.
  • Don't share hats, combs, toothbrushes, or other personal items with other children.
  • Cover your mouthwhen you cough or sneeze.
  • Don't touch other children's blood, urine, stool, or other body fluids.

Good safety habits

The world can be a dangerous place. But you can teach your children habits that will help keep them safer:

  • Don't chase or bother pets, especially when they are eating, sleeping, or with their babies.
  • Ask first if it's okay to pet someone's dog, and then let the dog smell your hand before you pet it.
  • Always wear a seat belt.
  • Wear a helmet when biking, snowboarding, skating, or skiing.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Know how to call 911 or other emergency help.
  • Be careful around strangers. Know when and how to stay away from them.
  • If you get lost, ask for help right away.
  • Don't cross the street alone or without permission.
  • Don't play in the driveway or around cars.
  • Don't play with guns. Parents should keep all guns locked up. Lock up ammunition separately.
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